Eurovision final becomes most-watched TV programme of 2022 so far

The Eurovision Song Contest final was the UK’s most-watched TV programme of the year so far, figures show.

An average 9.3 million people saw BBC One’s coverage of the four-hour spectacular in Turin earlier this month, which ended in an emotional victory for Ukraine, with Sam Ryder claiming second place for the UK.

This was just enough to beat the 9.2 million who saw the final episode of BBC One thriller The Tourist, which aired in January.

It was also the largest audience for a Eurovision final in more than a decade.

Italy Eurovision Song Grand Final
The UK’s Sam Ryder performs Space Man at the Eurovision Song Contest final in Turin on May 14 2022 (Luca Bruno/AP)

The figures published by the research organisation Barb are the official consolidated ratings for the final, meaning they include people who recorded and watched the broadcast up to seven days later.

They cover audiences watching on TV sets, PCs, tablets and smartphones.

Other programmes in the most-watched top five of the year include ITV crime drama Trigger Point, with 8.9 million viewing the debut episode in January; and The Thief, His Wife & the Canoe, ITV’s dramatisation of the real-life disappearance of John Darwin, which attracted 8.7 million for its first episode in April.

Old favourite Britain’s Got Talent is also in the top five, with 8.3 million watching the launch episode in April on ITV.

The last time the Eurovision final had ratings of more than nine million was in 2011, when an average TV audience of 9.7 million saw former boy band Blue represent the UK in Dusseldorf, Germany, where they finished in a respectable 11th place while Azerbaijan came first.

This year’s audience of 9.3 million is up from 7.7 million in 2021, when UK hopeful James Newman finished last with zero points.