LONDON - Simon Cowell's Britain’s Got Talent continued to lead the Saturday night ratings in the U.K. as the ITV talent show grew its lead over The Voice UK on the BBC and reached its biggest audience of the season.
BGT drew an average 10.9 million viewers in the 7:45-8:45 p.m. time slot, up from 10.1 million the previous weekend, and a 47 percent share of TV viewing at the time. That was the highest average audience for the show this season and up by more than 1 million over the equivalent episode last year, ITV said.
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The fifth episode of the seventh season of the talent show also peaked with 12.3 million viewers, or a 50 percent share, its highest peak audience of the season. ITV viewership data includes live ratings plus the audience for a repeat that starts on a catch-up network right after the show finishes.
Meanwhile, The Voice UK, which is in its second season here, reached 7.4 million average viewers with its first battle round after the previous week equaling a season-high 7.9 million. The show peaked with 8.2 million viewers.
The first battle round in 2012 had drawn an audience of 11.2 million. The Voice also aired on Sunday with a second weekend outing for the start of the battle rounds.
The two talent shows have been in one of the most closely watched TV ratings showdowns in Britain since The Voice in its first season last year beat BGT for several weeks in a row.
In addition to Cowell, the BGT judges are Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and comedian David Walliams. The Voice UK coaches are Jessie J, will.i.am, Tom Jones and Danny O’Donoghue.