QI loses 1.2m in BBC Two switch

...but back in its spiritual home

QI has lost more than a million viewers moving to BBC Two – but has proved a ratings hit back in its old home.

The eight series of the Stephen Fry-fronted panel show attracted 4.2million viewers when it was shown in the primetime 8.30pm slot on BBC One last year.

But when it returned to BBC Two at 10pm on Friday, it won 3 million viewers. But the figure still represents almost a 90 per cent increase on the audience that slot averages on the channel.

Long-terms fans of the show had felt it lost some of its sparkle, having to comply with pre-watershed restrictions on the BBC’s flagship channel for the last three series.

Producer John Lloyd told the Radio Times this summer he was glad to be back on BBC Two, saying: ‘It’s a happy return. QI can be itself again, instead of masquerading as something else.’

He said: ‘ ‘Our relocation to BBC One increased ratings, but there was a cost. It had to stop being what we had become – eclectic, uncompromising, slightly saucy. It wasn’t how QI was designed – the pilot is as clean as a whistle – but six years of a late-night slot on BBC Two had resulted in a different tone.’

Published: 12 Sep 2011

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