Office rules

Sitcom trounces rivals for ratings

Almost 5 million people watched The Office last night - more than any other programme in its time slot.

Ricky Gervais's downbeat sitcom attracted more viewers than the news bulletins on BBC1 and ITV1, and trounced Channels 4 and 5.

The show's return for a second series has been heavily promoted by the BBC, a strategy which seems to have paid off.

According to unofficial overnight figures, its audience averaged 4.8 million, more than three times the 1.4 million who tuned in to watch the first episode of the debut series last year.

Its closest rival in the 10pm slot, the BBC1 news, had 500,000 fewer viewers.

BBC2 controller Jane Root said: "The ratings for The Office are fantastic and we are pleased to have the hottest comedy talent on BBC2."

Last night's episode was also highly praised by critics.

Published: 1 Oct 2002

Today's comedy-on demand picks


Breaking Bad's RJ Mitte stars in this Australian romcom about a loner with cerebral palsy who is roped into helping a comedian (Philippa Northeast) overcome her shyness.

Featuring a guest appearance by Barry Humphries as himself, the film had a festival release last summer and has today landed on Amazon Prime.

Click for more suggestions

... including Hannah Gadsby's Douglas and Hari Kondabolu dropping in to tonight's XS Malarkey online gig.

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