Happy Valley beats Prince Harry interview in Sunday's TV ratings

Happy Valley beat Prince Harry's interview in Sunday's TV ratings. (ITV/BBC)
Happy Valley beat Prince Harry's interview in Sunday's TV ratings. (ITV/BBC)

Not even Prince Harry's latest explosive interview claims about the Royal Family were enough to tempt viewers away from the latest hit series of Happy Valley.

Sally Wainwright's gritty drama starring Sarah Lancashire and James Norton made a highly anticipated return on New Year's Day after six years off air, and fans were not willing to miss episode two even to hear the ins and outs of Prince Harry's rivalry with brother Prince William.

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Overnight TV ratings figures from the Broadcasters Audience Research Board (BARB) show that BBC One's Happy Valley, which began airing at the same time as Tom Bradby's much-publicised interview with Harry for ITV1, was ahead with more than a million more viewers.


Sunday January 8th at 9pm on ITV1 and ITVX 

Pictured: (l-r) Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex interviewed by Tom Bradby in California.

ITV will show an exclusive interview with Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, next Sunday in which he will talk in-depth to Tom Bradby, journalist and ITV News at Ten presenter, covering a range of subjects including his personal relationships, never-before-heard details surrounding the death of his mother, Diana, and a look ahead at his future. 

The 90 minute programme, produced by ITN Productions for ITV, will be broadcast two days before Prince Harry’s autobiography ‘Spare’ is published on 10 January, by Transworld.

The book has been billed by publisher Penguin Random House as “a landmark publication full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief”.

Filmed in California, where Harry now lives, Harry: The Interview, sees the Prince go into unprecedented depth and detail on life in and out of the Royal Family.

Speaking to Tom Bradby, who he has known for more than 20 years, Prince Harry shares his personal story, in his own words.

Michael Jermey, ITV Director of News and Current Affairs, said: “It is extremely rare for a member of the Royal Family to speak so openly about their experience at the heart of the institution. 

“Tom Bradby’s interview with Prince Harry will be a programme that everyone with an informed opinion on the monarchy should want to watch.
Prince Harry spoke to Tom Bradby about his book Spare. (ITV)

BARB figures show that 5.25 million viewers tuned in to Happy Valley at 9pm on Sunday, while 4.1 million opted for Harry's interview.

They also show that BBC One's preceding show, Call The Midwife, beat both programmes' viewing figures at 8pm as 5.61 million watched the cosy period drama.

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Harry sat down with Bradby to discuss some key claims from his forthcoming autobiography Spare, including accusations that Prince William grabbed him by the collar and pushed him into a dog bowl during an argument about his relationship with Meghan Markle.

Happy Valley
Happy Valley's season three has been a hit with viewers. (BBC)

The prince also said that his father, King Charles, had not been suited to life as a single parent and denied that he and wife Meghan had accused any royals of racism during their now-infamous interview with Oprah Winfrey, claiming instead that they were talking about "unconscious bias".

Meanwhile, Happy Valley viewers followed police officer Catherine Cawood's (Lancashire) ongoing struggles against Halifax's drug problem, as well as her battle with the imprisoned Tommy Lee Royce (Norton).

Prince Harry
Prince Harry spoke about his rivalry with Prince William. (ITV)

A key part of the series three storyline has been Catherine's grandson Ryan visiting his estranged father Tommy in prison, and a mystery over who has been facilitating the visits.

This will be the final season of Happy Valley, which is expected to reach a dramatic conclusion between Catherine and Tommy.

Call The Midwife also aired its second episode of the series and is currently into season 12 of the show.

Harry's ITV1 interview wasn't his only media appearance last night as he also kicked off his US TV round of promotion for Spare with Andrew Cooper on CBS’s 60 Minutes programme.