More than 12 million viewers tune into BBC One's Comic Relief telethon


A peak audience of 12.4 million tuned into last night's bi-annual Comic Relief charity telethon, which raised a record £73 million in donations for projects both in the UK and Africa. The marathon programme, which kicked off at 7PM, averaged 9.9 million viewers until the break at 10PM for the news.

The audience rose throughout the evening, climbing from 7.84 million between 7PM and 8PM to a whopping 11.3 million between 9PM and 10PM. Hilarious clips such as Fake That and sketches from the likes of James Corden, Mitchell and Webb, Armstrong and Miller and X Factor's Peter Dickson kept viewers entertained until 2AM this morning.

The show was down slightly on the previous run, held back in 2009, in which 12.3 million viewers tuned in during the 9PM hour./p>

The telethon unsurprisingly hit the other broadcasters hart, with just over 2 million viewers opting to watch yet another repeat of James Bond movie Die Another Day over on ITV1. Channel 4 suffered the worst of the 5 big channels, dipping to less than 850,000 viewers at 8PM with Relocation: Phil Down Under.

Channel 5's schedule however held up much better, with their US imports of Ice Road Truckers and The Mentalist both picking up respectable figures of more than a million each.