Planet Earth 2 Beats X-Factor in the Ratings - Maybe We're Not Doomed After All?

By James O Malley on at

Just when it would have been safe to assume that the world is going to hell, a glimmer of hope: It turns out that despite everything, the general public still prefer David Attenborough to The X-Factor.

According to the BBC the series premiere of Planet Earth 2 easily saw off the ITV talent show banking an average of 9.2m viewers throughout the 8pm hour. The best Simon Cowell could do, meanwhile was 6.5m.

These numbers are likely to narrow once catch-up viewers are taken into account. If you're a an of wild speculation, we'd guess that Planet Earth appealed to older viewers - whereas younger X-Factor viewers are more likely to watch on demand after the fact. But Planet Earth still has a significant lead.

The two shows are actually rather similar: One involves watching a baby iguana being eaten by a snake, and the other involves watching Dermot O'Leary beat a dead horse.


This all said, Planet Earth 2 was not the biggest show of last night - that crown went to Strictly Come Dancing, which earned 10.1 million viewers and immediately preceded Attenborough. It no doubt bequeathed a nice inheritance in terms of viewers who watched both. So if Sir David is celebrating at the news this afternoon, he should probably raise a toast to Ed Balls too.