More than 24 million viewers watched Prime Minister’s lockdown statement

Tom Horton, PA
·1-min read

The Prime Minister’s televised statement on new coronavirus restrictions was watched by an average audience of more than 24 million people, according to overnight viewing figures.

A total average audience of 15.6 million watched Boris Johnson’s address on BBC One and the BBC News channel, a spokeswoman for the corporation said.

ITV had an average audience of 5.4 million, while comparative figures for Channel 4 and Sky News stand at two million and 1.2 million respectively, according to the broadcasters.

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson (PA)

The Prime Minister’s broadcast was watched by an average audience of 24.2 million across the channels.

The total is slightly down on the comparative figure for Mr Johnson’s first lockdown announcement in March last year, which overnight figures indicated was watched by more than 25 million viewers.

The highest TV audience measured in the last decade was 24.5 million for the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics.

In his statement on Monday evening, which was broadcast at 8pm, the Prime Minister announced stringent new lockdown measures for England.

Coronavirus – Mon Jan 4, 2020
(Martin Rickett/PA)

He said schools must close to help stop the spread of Covid-19 and to prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed by surging infections.

Mr Johnson warned the coming weeks will be the “hardest yet” but said that “with a fair wind in our sails” it should be possible to vaccinate 13 million of the most vulnerable people by mid-February, paving the way for controls to be eased.

Viewing figures for his statement greatly exceeded those for the Queen’s Christmas message, which was watched by 6.3 million viewers on BBC One.