Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway had its biggest ever audience on Saturday night, viewing figures have revealed.
As the programme filmed without a studio audience for the first time due to the coronavirus, it had an average of 9.5 million viewers with a peak of 11.1 million.
Numbers from ITV show that the series, which is on its 16th run after launching in 2002, had almost half the TV viewership with a 45% share of the audience.
It marks the biggest overnight audience on any channel for 2020 so far.
The news comes as it has been confirmed the next edition of the weekend favourite will be prerecorded.
It was confirmed by the presenters as Declan Donnelly shared: "Join us next week, when we won’t be live but we will be back on your screens with the conclusion of [ongoing alien spoof series] Men In Brown for our grand finale."
In a tweet, the show said they would be returning with "something a bit different" next week after the pair were joined by Joel Dommett, Stephen Mulhern, Andy Peters, Olly Murs and Bradley Walsh for the live show.
Thank you all for joining us tonight! Sadly that was our final live show of the series. We hope it sparked some joy when we all need it most. 💙 We'll be back next week with something a bit different. Stay safe everyone! #SaturdayNightTakeaway pic.twitter.com/nzhtA6MGAi— Saturday Night Takeaway (@itvtakeaway) March 21, 2020
The ‘End of the Show Show’ saw Murs perform his hit Dance With Me Tonight while pre-filmed submissions of viewers dancing appeared on the screen, including many featuring NHS staff and emergency workers.
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The pair received praise for their efforts in the changed circumstances on Saturday night and in turn Ant McPartlin thanked fans.
Wow! Overwhelmed by your lovely messages tonight. It was a privilege to be on air this evening.— antanddec (@antanddec) March 21, 2020
Stay safe everyone.
Much love to you all. ♥️
He wrote in a tweet on their joint account: "Wow! Overwhelmed by your lovely messages tonight. It was a privilege to be on air this evening. Stay safe everyone. Much love to you all. A #SaturdayNightTakeway."