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Friday, 11 February, 2000, 18:12 GMT
Corrie ratings are streets ahead

Street stars Tracy Shaw, Jacqueline Pirie and Denise Welch toast the news

Coronation Street producers are jubilant after an episode of the ITV soap was declared the most-watched programme of 1999.

1999's TV top 10
1 - Coronation Street (7 Mar) 19.82m
2 - Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? (7 Mar) 19.21m
3 - Coronation Street (4 Jan) 19.03m
4 - Coronation Street (13 Jan) 18.22m
5 - Heartbeat (28 Feb) 17.01m
6 - Touch of Frost (21 Mar) 16.85m
7 - Coronation Street (8 Jan) 16.75m
8 - ...Millionaire (16 Mar) 16.24m
9 - ...Millionaire (11 Mar) 16.05m
10 - ...Millionaire (13 Jan) 16.01m
The episode which saw two-timing salesman Ian Bentley marry Sharon Gaskell - broadcast on 7 March - pulled in 19.82m viewers, according to figures released by the Royal Television Society.

The show took four out of the top 10 places in the survey - the same number as game show Who Wants To be A Millionaire?, hosted by Chris Tarrant.

Completing an all-ITV top 10 were individual episodes of Heartbeat and A Touch of Frost, with 17.01 and 16.95 viewers respectively.

Leading the BBC's top-rating shows was the Christmas Day edition of EastEnders, which came in at 11th with 15.71m viewers. Unlike the weekly TV charts, only single showings of programmes are included, so EastEnders' Sunday omnibus was discounted from the figures.

Other leading BBC programmes were Walking With Dinosaurs (17th - 15m) and Vicar of Dibley (20th - 14.37).

Top sport hitters included Manchester United's last-gasp victory against Bayern Munich in May (12th - 15.62m), and the England-Scotland Euro 2000 qualifying match in November (18th - 14.6m).

Coronation Street producer Jane MacNaught said her team was "delighted" with the figures.

Chris Tarrant: Who Wants To Be A Millionaire was another hit for ITV
"Four episodes in the top 10 is a superb achievement for the Coronation Street production team.

"It is satisfying the RTS has used single episode ratings, because it's frustrating when omnibus figures are added to the final ratings.

"That often puts other programmes ahead of Coronation Street in the ratings, which is a distorted picture."

A spokesman for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, which is made for ITV by independent outfit Celador, said: "It was fantastic at the time when we first erached 19 million viewers, especially as the show was only in its third series, and we are obviously very pleased with today's figures."

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See also:
10 Feb 00 |  Entertainment
Street star Danson leaves
07 Feb 00 |  Entertainment
Coronation Street goes East
26 Dec 99 |  Entertainment
Honours even for Christmas ratings
30 Mar 99 |  Entertainment
Dame Thora takes top award
23 Nov 99 |  Entertainment
ITV's festive Frost
18 Jan 00 |  Entertainment
1m question stumps quiz king

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