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RATINGS! U2 at the BBC flops against The Royal Variety Performance

U2’s gig at the BBC attracted fewer than 1.5 million viewers last night.


Despite a prime time 9PM slot, just 1.4 million viewers tuned in for the one-hour special.

Recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studios, the show saw U2 performing some of their biggest hits and talking to host Cat Deeley. You can catch up here on iPlayer if you missed it.

It was latest in a series of music specials on BBC One, none of which have brought in impressive numbers. Last month even former One Direction star Harry Styles’ show interested just 1.4 million viewers, beaten by Bargain Hunt.

Last night’s U2 special lost out to the Royal Variety Performance on ITV which averaged 4.4 million viewers for its 2017 show between 7:30PM and 10PM.

Those taking to the stage in front of Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge last night included Seal, Paloma Faith, The Script, Britain’s Got Talent winner pianist Tokio Myers; the West End casts of ‘Annie’ and ‘42nd Street’; Michael Ball and Alfie Boe.

Alongside the musical acts, there was comedy from Jason Manford and Tom Allen. You can watch the show online here.

The 2017 Royal Variety rating was down slightly (200,000 viewers) on last year, where it aired a week earlier.


Elsewhere last night and Emmerdale took the lead in the soaps ahead of EastEnders, with 6 million viewers to 5.6 million.

Holby City continued with 4 million viewers.