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LONDON – The season finale of Simon Cowell‘s Britain’s Got Talent drew an average 11.4 million U.K. viewers Saturday night, handily beating The Voice U.K., which has been falling behind in the audience showdown here.
BGT reached an audience of 11.9 million when including viewers on ITV1+1, which airs the talent competition with an hour’s delay.
It became the highest-rated show of 2012, beating out a January episode of long-running soap opera Coronation Street, which had attracted 11.2 million viewers.
In its extended 7:30pm-10pm time slot, the show, which airs on ITV1, overlapped with The Voice on BBC1, which averaged 5.6 million viewers after outperforming BGT for most of April. The music competition show has lost steam since its early rounds, which observers say had more novelty effect. At its height in late April, The Voice drew 10.7 million viewers.
Industry observers will keep a close eye on how the show performs now that BGT has come to the end of its season.
BGT drew a peak audience of 13.8 million, or 14.5 million when including ITV1+1, which is the highest peak audience of any show in 2012. That was also slightly ahead of the 14.4 million peak audience of last year’s final.
The winners of BGT are 17-year-old Ashleigh and her jumping and dancing dog Pudsey. They won over audiences with a routine performed to the Mission: Impossible theme. Cowell said they were one of his “favorite ever acts.”
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