Page last updated at 12:30 GMT, Sunday, 12 April 2009 13:30 UK

Talent beats Doctor in TV ratings

Britain's Got Talent contestant Manjit Singh. Picture courtesy ITV1
Britain's Got Talent contestant Manjit Singh pulled a van with his ear

The opening show of Britain's Got Talent was watched by 11.4m viewers, beating a Doctor Who special in the ratings, overnight estimates suggest.

The talent show was Easter Saturday's highest-rated show, beating the Time Lord on BBC One - watched by 8.7 million people - into second place.

Viewers watched as David Tennant was joined by ex-EastEnder Michelle Ryan in Easter special Planet of the Dead.

On ITV1, Britain's Got Talent, with Ant and Dec, came back for a third series.

The show had a peak of 11.4 million viewers and an average of 10.3 million viewers.

Last year's opening show was watched by an average of 9.4 million viewers.

Judges Simon Cowell, Piers Morgan and Amanda Holden all returned on the show, which was won last year by teenage breakdancer George Sampson.

Michelle Ryan posing with the current Doctor Who David Tennant
Michelle Ryan is best known for playing Zoe Slater in EastEnders

Acts on the first show included Manjit Singh, who blew into a hot water bottle until it exploded, a Greek father-and-son dance act and singing family Good Evans.

In January, model and actress Kelly Brook was axed from Britain's Got Talent just days after being unveiled as a fourth judge.

After reviewing tapes of Brook judging auditions in Manchester, producers decided the new panel was too "complicated", while Cowell said the format did not "support another judge".

Planet of the Dead also featured comedian Lee Evans as a scientist who helped the Doctor close a "worm hole" - a temporary gateway between the Earth and another planet. The show was the first of four Doctor Who specials marking the end of David Tennant's tenure as the Time Lord.

BBC One medical series Casualty was Saturday's third most-watched show with a peak of 6.1 million viewers, according to the estimates.

It was followed by BBC One's Robin Hood which was watched by 5.3 million.

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