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EDITIONS
Monday, 9 September, 2002, 14:35 GMT 15:35 UK
ITV scores big with reality TV
Pete Waterman, Geri Halliwell, Davina McCall, Louis Walsh
Popstars: The Rivals will form two bands
ITV is celebrating a double success after two of its reality TV shows pulled in millions of viewers each over the weekend.

More than 10.5 million viewers watched DJ Tony Blackburn emerge victorious from the jungle on I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! on Sunday.

Nell McAndrew
Millions have been gripped by the antics of the stars
This was compared to an average of about 6.5 million people who tuned in during its nightly two-week run to see how eight celebrities coped in harsh surroundings.

Popstars: The Rivals, the follow-up to the show that created the band Hear'Say, was also a ratings hit as an average 7.5 million viewers switched on to see the first round of auditions, rising to 8.2 million at its peak.

Popstars: The Rivals features ex-Spice Girl Geri Halliwell and industry gurus Pete Waterman and Louis Walsh who will whittle down thousands of wannabe singers to form two groups.

< The winners will go on to form a girl band and a boy band who will record a song and race to become the Christmas number one single.

The show gave ITV1 its biggest ratings hit on a Saturday since Gareth Gates and Will Young fought it out to be crowned Pop Idol in February, with a 36% of the watching public.

I'm a Celebrity... has gripped the viewing public and media since the minor celebrities were dropped off in the middle of the Australian Outback in the name of charity.

Its final overshadowed BBC One drama Sparkhouse, which pulled in 4.8 million viewers in the same time slot.

During the first week viewers had the chance to vote for which contestant they wanted to see undergo a task to win food for the rest of the group.

Jungle king

Challenges included eating grubs, grappling with snakes and wading through an eel-infested swamp.

During the final week the viewers' attention was switched to voting for the person they wanted to win the contest, with the person polling the least being evicted each night.

Blackburn went up against socialite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson to be crowned King of the Jungle.

Although the ratings for I'm a Celebrity are considered healthy, they do not compare to the success of the BBC's Celebrity Big Brother in 2001.

But it easily beat the original Survivor series, the format on which it was based.

Ratings for the first Survivor fell to just over four million, despite masses of publicity surrounding it, although the final was watched by eight million people.

See also:

08 Sep 02 | Entertainment
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09 Sep 02 | Entertainment
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