Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

March 18, 2006

Kenneth - still a ratings winner

Kenneth Williams drama wins biggest-ever audience for BBC4

Ben Dowell
Tuesday March 14, 2006

Fantabulosa, BBC4's drama about the troubled Carry On comedian Kenneth Williams, was the highest-rated programme in the history of the network, according to unofficial overnights.

The drama attracted an average of 846,000 viewers last night, the same number as watched The Alan Clark Diaries starring John Hurt as the maverick Tory MP in 2003. However, Fantabulosa attracted a higher peak audience of 964,000 viewers and its average viewing is certain to rise once the figures are consolidated.

Fantabulosa, in which Michael Sheen took the lead role, was also a sole BBC4 commission while The Alan Clark Diaries was made in conjunction with BBC2, making the former easily the most popular sole BBC4 commission.

The timing for the ratings could not have been better for the channel, which is awaiting the government's verdict on its 10-year future in today's white paper.

The news of the drama's success was welcomed by the BBC4 controller, Janice Hadlow, who praised Sheen's performance for "deservedly" winning the channel its highest-ever rating.

"It shows that our original approach to single-subject dramas exploring figures from our recent past can really capture the imagination of our audience," Ms Hadlow said.


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