Page last updated at 17:51 GMT, Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Gracie! drama hits ratings high for BBC Four

Jane Horrocks
Jane Horrocks is currently starring in musical Annie Get Your Gun in London

A TV drama based on the life of armed forces sweetheart and singer Gracie Fields ensured BBC Four matched its biggest ever audience on Monday.

The biopic, starring Jane Horrocks as the nation's darling during the Second World War, attracted 1.4m viewers.

It equalled the channel's viewing figures record set by The Curse Of Steptoe when it aired in March 2008.

The programme was part of a series of dramatisations about famous British women, including Enid Blyton.

"I am delighted that the audiences are so clearly enjoying BBC Four's approach to intelligent entertainment," said BBC Four controller Richard Klein.

Fields was born above a chip shop in Rochdale in 1898 and went on to become the highest paid film star of her day.

The drama focused on Fields' relationship with Italian-born Hollywood director, Monty Banks, and the repercussions of their marriage at at time when Britain was at war with Italy.

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