Channel 4’s Drugs Live: the Ecstasy Trial garnered nearly 2 million viewers, reports The Guardian. The innovative show tests ecstasy for medicinal purposes.
1.9m intrigued viewers tuned in between 10pm and 11.05pm on Wednesday, with a five-minute high of 2.3 million. BBC2's Culture Show special, featuring an interview with Jk Rowling, between 10pm and 10.30pm, only managed 600,000 viewers, with the Harry Potter author talking about her new book, The Casual Vacancy. Elsewhere on Channel 5, Paddy and Sally's Excellent Gypsy Adventure was watched by 700,000 viewers, and BBC4's drama Room at the Top had 539,000. The big-hitters, though, were ITV1’s penultimate episode Mrs Biggs, with 4.2 million viewers and BBC1's Who Do You Think You Are? featuring Coronation Street star William Roache, which was watched by 4.3 million. Political broadcasts weren’t on the viewers agenda, with BBC2's coverage of the Liberal Democrat autumn conference averaged 400,000 for both it’s viewings, although most of the potential viewers would have been at work.
The Ecstasy Trial saw actor Keith Allen and novelist Lionel Shriver take MDMA to see its effect on the brain. The show’s title, though, suggests that people take drugs live on show, giving it an unpredictable edge, but in reality, presenter Jon Snow and TV doctor Christian Jessen presided over an hour-long studio debate. Misleading. The real test for the experimental broadcast will be tonight’s viewing figures, as the show returns. Will the viewers?