The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, featuring Jane Horrocks, got 4.3 million viewers or a 19% audience share on BBC1 last night. This was more than Trinny and Susanah's heavily trailed debut on ITV earlier, which had 4.1 million viewers, an 18% share.
These figures are reported by Media Guardian, which needs a registration to read.
I found the Amazing Mrs Pritchard reasonably good entertainment. The acting, particularly from Jane Horrocks, Frances Tomelty and Steven Mackintosh (as Pritchard's hubby) was good. (I see Geraldine James is due to appear in future episodes - unless she was disguised last night - she's always good value.)
In fact, the most interesting bits concerned the young lad who intended to commit suicide and the husband's struggle to come to terms with his wife's new life. In other words, the normal stuff of drama.
The show seemed to be uncomfortably poised between comedy and drama. On the one hand it had a "Full Monty" feel of a northern-founded phenomenon. On the other, it rather clumsily tried to explore Mrs P starting to be serious about governing, which took a bit of believing. I can imagine the rest of the series being rather harrowing, but I will be happy to be proved wrong.
In essence, a rather lukewarm show, which I don't think justifies a whole series. Let's face it, if this woman had any sense she would do a Sonia Gandhi, take a back seat once elected, and allow a serious politician, such as the ex-Tory Walker woman who joined her purple throng, to do the serious governing.
Apart from anything else, her election slogan of "It isn't rocket science" was a massive hostage to fortune. If it was that easy, every political career would end in success, not the opposite, as the saying goes. Presumably it is this conundrum which the series will explore as it unfolds.
All in all, I am looking back with misty-eyed nostalgia at Line of Beauty.
By the way, we did very well out of the programme. Mrs Pritchard's husband voted Liberal Democrat!