Northern Ireland news

Derry Girls the most watched TV show of 2018, report reveals

The cast of Derry Girls, from left, Orla (Louise Harland), Clare (Nicola Coughlan), Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson), James (Dylan Llewellyn) and Michelle (Jamie-Lee O'Donnell).
Mairead Holland

HIT comedy series Derry Girls was the most popular TV programme in Northern Ireland last year.

The second episode of the first series attracted 608,000 viewers, accounting for 70 per cent of people watching TV at the time.

Overall, the first series of the show was watched by an average 2.5 million viewers, making it Channel 4's biggest comedy launch since 2004.

The figures are included in a report released today by broadcasting regulator Ofcom.

In second place was I'm A Celebrity - Get Me Out Of Here, with the UTV programme notching up an average 481,000 viewers.

Third place was claimed by the World Cup 2018 - England versus Croatia game, screened on UTV, which had a viewing audience of 463,000.

Four other World Cup matches also made it into the top 20 most-watched programmes, scoring 5th, 6th, 12th and 19th places.

The report found that traditional TV still accounts for most television time in Northern Ireland with an audience of 82 per cent.

UTV and BBC also remain the most popular TV stations for people to keep up with news.

However, traditional viewing has continued to decline and around half of homes now subscribe to streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, Now TV or Disney Life.

The drop in traditional viewing is steepest among younger viewers. In 2018, youngsters aged four to 15 watched one hour and 13 minutes of broadcast TV each day, down from almost three hours in 2010.

However, adults in Northern Ireland are more likely than those in any other part of the UK to listen to the radio, with 93 per cent tuning in each week, mainly to local stations.

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