More than 3 million viewers watched Celebrity Big Brother return to Channel 5 on Wednesday with a line-up including Katie Hopkins, Ken Morley and Patsy Kensit, enough to help the broadcaster leapfrog Channel 4 and BBC2 in the ratings.
The celebrity reality show, with a line-up that also featured Keith Chegwin – likely to show less cheek than in his last Channel 5 reality show – and Alexander O’Neal, was watched by an average of 3.3 million viewers (16.3%) from 9pm.
The eighth series of the show since it moved to Channel 5, it had the same number of viewers as its last new year series, in 2014, when its 3.3 million viewers delivered a 14.9% share of the audience.
Celebrity Big Brother beat the return of Channel 4’s 24 Hours in A&E, back for an eighth series with just over 2 million viewers, an 8.6% share.
It was the second new Channel 4 series in a row, following the return of The Restoration Man, which had 2.2 million viewers (10%) for the start of its fifth run from 8pm.
Channel 5 had a 6.9% share of the all-day audience, ahead of both Channel 4, on 5.7%, and BBC2, which had a 6.5% share.
An edited version of Celebrity Big Brother daily highlights show will be repeated on MTV the following day for the first time.
All ratings include ‘+1’ showings.