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Top Gear: Jeremy Clarkson races back with more than 5m | TV ratings - 2 February

3 February 2014 3:50 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

BBC motoring show attracts its biggest launch audience since 2011, scoring a rare victory over ITV's All Star Family Fortunes

Top Gear returned to BBC2 for its 21st series with more than 5 million viewers on Sunday night, its biggest launch show since 2011.

The return of Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond had 5.3 million viewers, a 19.3% share of the audience between 8pm and 9pm.

This was enough to give BBC2 a rare ratings victory over ITV, which could only manage 4.3 million viewers (16.3%) for All Star Family Fortunes between 7.45pm and 8.30pm, and 4.2 million (15%) for the Dancing on Ice: Skate Off between 8.30pm and 9pm.

Top Gear, which accounted for half of the BBC's top 20 most popular shows on the BBC's iPlayer last year, was up on the 4.7 million who saw the show's return last summer, and 5.1 million who watched in January 2012.

It was the most popular Top Gear opening episode »

- John Plunkett

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