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Friday, 13 September, 2002, 15:05 GMT 16:05 UK
Street claims 'ratings crown'
Steve McDonald (Simon Gregson) with Joe Carter (Jonathan Wrather) in Coronation Street
Two episodes are now being shown on Monday nights
Soap opera Coronation Street says it is "the country's favourite TV show" after ratings success against its rival EastEnders.

The ITV drama has occupied the top spot on the TV chart for each of the last six weeks, according to its makers, Granada.

EastEnders
EastEnders has dominated TV awards
It proves that "the tide is turning" after losing the battle in 2001, they said.

The claim comes four days after BBC One's EastEnders swept the board at the TV Quick Awards for the second year running, eclipsing Coronation Street, which left empty-handed.

Coronation Street, shown on ITV, also lost out at the British Soap Awards and the Baftas.

But makers Granada Northwest say viewing figures are on the up again.

Ratings drop

"We have held the top slot in the official chart for the last six weeks, and with the strong storylines we have lined up for the autumn we expect to build on that success," Granada's director of programmes John Whiston said.

"We have always admitted that we did suffer a drop in ratings over last year and that 2001 was a very strong year for EastEnders, but the tide is turning and the evidence is now there in black and white."

Coronation Street was the most popular show in 20 of the last 33 weeks - compared with 10 for EastEnders.

Producers have hailed a new double helping of the show on Mondays - at 7:30 and 8:30pm - as a success.

'Gripping'

More than 10 million people watched bad boy Joe Carter commit a robbery with Steve McDonald on Monday.

The extra instalments will be continued until the end of September, and take the total number of episodes to five per week.

"Once again, the plots are gripping, the characters are brilliant and the quality of the writing in Coronation Street is second to none," Mr Whiston said.

A spokeswoman for EastEnders said they did not comment on ratings matters.

See also:

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