A whopping 10.4 million viewers tuned into the first audition episode of Britain's Got Talent 2011 last night, making it the second most watched series opener of the format. Despite the lack of Simon Cowell, there was no signs that the show was going suffer as it peaked with well over 11.5 million viewers.
9.95 million people, a huge 40.5% share of last night's telly watching audience, tuned into the 90-minute opener from 8:20PM. A further 495,000 viewers decided to watch an hour later on ITV1's +1 channel. The show peaked with 11.58 million viewers, a 45.9% share.
The figures make last night's show the second most series opener to date, down a little on last year's 10.6 million figure. Previous launches have ranged between 4.9 million and 10.3 million.
Earlier in the evening and ITV1's new primetime game show Sing If You Can got off to a solid start, recording an audience of 5.33 million throughout its showing, despite a mainly negative reception from viewers.
Over on BBC One and dancing reality show So You Think You Can Dance struggled once again to pull in the numbers for its first live show, with only 3.6 million viewers tuning to watch the Top 20 show off their moves for the first time.
Overall the ITV slaughtered the BBC in primetime, with a share of 31% to the Beeb's 16%.