Chelsea viewing figures up despite absence of Titchmarsh from TV coverage

Monty Don replacing Alan Titchmarsh as the face of BBC coverage of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show has failed to dent overall viewing figures for the show.

Alan Titchmarsh
Alan Titchmarsh

The BBC1 Chelsea show on 19 May attracted 3,279,000, which was 16.5 per cent of the audience. In 2013 the equivalent show attracted 3,570,000 or 17.1 per cent.

The BBC2 show on the same day attracted 2,883,000 or 13.6 per cent. In 2013, the equivalent was watched by 3,041m or 13.2 per cent.

On 20 May, 2,704,000 watched, a 12.5 per cent share, with the 2013 figure 2,933,000 or 14.1 per cent.

On 21 May 2,520,000 watched on BBC2, a 13.1 per cent share, with 2.2m watching in 2013, a 10.7 per cent share.

Sunday 18 May on BBC1 was seen by 2.66m - for 2013 it was 2.1m - while on Saturday 25 May coverage of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show averaged 1.43m (6.7 per cent).

Friday 24 May coverage attracted 2.4m (11.4 per cent) and Wednesday 22 May had 2.5m (13.1 per cent).

Overall figures for the first few days of coverage showed mixed results - but not the fall some expected after Titchmarsh left following 30 years of presenting the show for the BBC.

On 19 May 2014, 3.2m watched Chelsea coverage with 2.88m on 20 May and 2.7m on 21 May.

Monday on BBC2 fell 158,000 (5.5 per cent) and Tuesday 229,000 (8.5 per cent). Wednesday 21 May was up 290,000 (11.5 per cent) on the previous year.

The BBC and Titchmarsh parted company after 30 years before 2014's show, with Titchmarsh saying: "Yes, I suppose it hurt because I know people enjoy you doing it as much as I loved doing it. Was I dumped for Monty Don? You might say that. I couldn't possible comment, I don't feel dumped."

Don only presented on BBC2, with Sophie Raworth, Joe Swift and others presenting BBC1 coverage of the show. Titchmarsh had headed coverage across both channels.

The BBC said it was "delighted with the figures" and the audience's response to the changes.



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