Page last updated at 17:19 GMT, Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Brit Awards ceremony watched by 5.8m

Lady Gaga

An average audience of 5.8 million tuned in to see the Brit Awards on ITV1, according to overnight figures.

The music award ceremony, which saw Lady Gaga win three trophies, captured a peak of 6.3 million viewers towards the end of the two-hour broadcast.

But the Brits were beaten by BBC One medical drama Holby City for the first hour with an average of 6.3 million.

This year's event surpassed the TV audience for the 2009 ceremony, which gained an average 5.2 million viewers.

Brits effect

The artists who picked up awards and performed at the ceremony are already enjoying a surge in music sales, according to the Official Charts Company.

Sales of songs by Lady Gaga, lifetime achievement award winner Robbie Williams and best British solo male Dizzee Rascal saw the biggest spikes after the event began.

Williams's Greatest Hits - originally released in 2004 - is expected to return to the top 75 on Sunday.

His latest studio album, Reality Killed The Video Star, is likely to re-enter the top 20.

Florence and the Machine's Lungs, which came away with the best British album accolade, went to the top of Amazon's best-seller list shortly after the ceremony concluded.

According to HMV's Gennaro Castaldo, the artists who are likely to enjoy the greatest "Brits effect" are those who put in memorable performances at the event or walk away with multiple gongs.

"Such artists can easily experience a doubling or even a trebling of sales overnight, especially in these days of instant downloads, while a further boost can be expected at the weekend when people are out shopping," he added.

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