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 Thursday, 2 January, 2003, 15:10 GMT
Billy Elliot boosts BBC ratings
Jamie Bell in Billy Elliott
Billy Elliott made Jamie Bell a star
A screening of hit film Billy Elliot has helped the BBC beat ITV in the New Year's Day ratings, drawing an average of 12.2 million viewers and almost half of the viewing audience.

The Stephen Daldry film, about a working class boy's dream of becoming a ballet dancer, was one of the most popular British movies of recent years and was made in conjunction with BBC Films.

Des O'Connor
ITV paid tribute to Des O'Connor
ITV pulled in six million viewers for an hour-long episode of The Bill at 2030 GMT and 4.4 million viewers at 2130GMT for a special tribute to entertainer Des O'Connor.

Both ITV's and BBC's flagship soaps suffered a dip in ratings on New Year's Day.

Mixture

EastEnders drew 12.2 million viewers, down from more than 15 million on Christmas Day while Coronation Street dropped from a Christmas high of 15 million to 11.7 million viewers.

BBC Two's mixture of wildlife and history programmes performed well, with its three-hour Ultimate Wild Night show drawing an average of 3.2 million viewers.

An on Channel 4, the first episode of a new series of Sex and the City drew two million viewers.

See also:

13 Mar 01 | Entertainment
03 Dec 02 | Entertainment
26 Dec 02 | Entertainment
30 Dec 02 | Entertainment
25 Feb 01 | Entertainment
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