Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway brings in the most Saturday night viewers

The return of Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway proved one of the most post popular shows of the evening, bringing in millions more viewers than both Let It Shine and The Voice UK.

An average of 7.4 million people tuned in to the ITV programme’s launch, welcoming I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! star Scarlett Moffatt as new host alongside the comedy duo.

Audience numbers peaked at 8.7 million, a 600,000 rise on last year’s total, after the show kicked off at 7pm on Saturday.

Viewers were treated to cameos from Joanna Lumley, Michael Sheen and Shirley Bassey, pranks pulled on Jamie Oliver and Dermot O’Leary and the start of fresh comedy sketch The Missing Crown Jewels.

But the channel then lost viewers as The Voice UK continued straight after, holding on to an average of 5.2 million, peaking at 6.2 million.

Meanwhile, the final of Gary Barlow’s BBC singing contest was watched by an average of 4.1 million as it was broadcast just 15 minutes before Saturday Night Takeaway.

The audience peaked at 4.5 million as male group Five To Five were voted the nation’s favourite to star in Gary’s upcoming musical.

Comedian Peter Kay split viewers’ opinions as he stood in at the last minute to replace Robbie Williams as guest judge for the live show.

The singer pulled out of the role on Friday due to a medical issue.

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