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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 August 2006, 10:58 GMT 11:58 UK
Osbourne debut beats chat rivals
Sharon Osbourne
Osbourne's debut featured Penny Lancaster and the Scissor Sisters
Sharon Osbourne's chat show debuted on ITV1 with an audience of 1.9 million, some 300,000 higher than rivals Richard and Judy, overnight estimates suggest.

The outspoken star - also a judge on The X Factor - has taken over the 1700 BST slot vacated by Paul O'Grady, who was poached by Channel 4.

O'Grady's first show on Channel 4, in March, gained three million viewers.

He suffered a heart attack in June but is due to return to the network when his programme resumes next month.

ITV has already claimed that Osbourne, 51, will "bring the tea-time audience some real peak-time entertainment value".

"We know it's a very, very challenging slot," said Alison Sharman, ITV's director of factual, children's and daytime, at the Edinburgh TV Festival.

She promised the show would "give the audience a real dilemma" about what to watch at that time of day, and predicted there would be "some great guests and some real surprises".

Former music manager Osbourne gained considerable fame in 2002 when MTV broadcast a reality show about her life with rocker husband Ozzy and their eccentric family.

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