TV viewing figures for Boris Johnson’s coronavirus address revealed

Boris Johnson’s Tuesday night televised address was watched more than 15 million times – although on one channel that broadcast his coronavirus message to the nation the programme directly after proved more appetising.

The Prime Minister said the nation faces an “unquestionably difficult” winter and warned the latest restrictions to tackle the second wave of Covid-19 infections could last six months.

But on Channel 4, which pulled in an of average of 2.6 million viewers for his speech at 8pm, viewers seemed to prefer the light relief which followed directly afterwards with the first episode of the new series of the Great British Bake Off.

The channel’s viewing figures shot up to 6.9 million for the return of Bake Off, even with the episode delayed by 15 minutes to accommodate the Prime Minister. It featured new co-host Matt Lucas impersonating Mr Johnson by making his own address.

In March, Boris Johnson’s address to the nation confirming the UK was being put into lockdown was watched by more than 25 million viewers, with a second address in May where he offered the first sketch of a road map for restarting the economy attracting almost 30 million.

On Tuesday, BBC One, the BBC News Channel and BBC Scotland notched up a combined 10 million for Mr Johnson’s address.

On ITV, the Prime Minister was viewed by an average of 2.8 million and Sky News reached 621,000 people between 8pm and 8.15pm. Figures for Channel 5 were not yet available.

Leader of the Opposition Keir Starmer will give his own address to the nation at 8pm tonight on BBC One.

The daily televised Downing Street coronavirus press conference was scrapped earlier this summer in favour of ad hoc briefings.