Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Nobody seems to be wanting to draw too much attention to the viewing figures for Live 8, because even in the UK they weren't especially good - the audience peaked at 9.6 million and - stretched across the day as a whole - averaged 6.6 million. Which is pretty good for a Saturday - especially on BBC TWO - but not really skyscraping; it was about a third of the viewing public. On the other hand, both anecodotal evidence and common sense suggests that people drifted by during the course of the day - MediaGuardian estimates that 30 million people will have watched some of the concert, although we don't think they've got anything solid to base that upon. Even so, that's managing to scrape half the nation together for a bit in a country which was fascinated and keen - we're guessing they're going to struggle to have hit a billion worldwide, much less two.

An old Foyles War on ITV during the evening managed to find 3.5million people, and during the Wimbledon Ladies' Singles final, not only was Live Aid not the most popular TV programme ever, it wasn't even the most popular TV programme at the time. Maybe Bush will counter Blair's claim to have a popular mandate brokered by Bob by claiming his mandate comes from Venus Williams.