Britain’s royal soap opera topped the ratings on Monday night when 23 million viewers tuned in for Princess Diana’s interview on Panorama.
The programme’s live overnight rating of 22.9 million viewers beat the BBC’s debut National Lottery programme, which had 20.17 million viewers in November last year.
On ITV on Monday night Cracker started with 12 million viewers, but lost 4 million when Panorama started. The week before Cracker had an audience of 13 million.
The Princess of Wales also beat this year’s highest-rating soap, Coronation Street, which hit 19.68 million viewers in February.
However, she failed to beat last year’s most popular programme. Ice-skaters Torvill & Dean took to the ice in a reunion at the Lillehammer Winter Olympics. That programme was seen by 23.95 million.
Viewing of Panorama was highest in London, where 62 per cent of all housewives tuned in. Across the country as a whole, viewing amounted to 43.5 per cent of the population.
Diana also beat the viewing figures for Prince Charles’ interview with Jonathan Dimbleby last year, which had 14 million viewers.