The BBC’s political thriller Bodyguard triumphed over ITV’s lavish period drama Vanity Fair in the Sunday night ratings battle, drawing twice the number of viewers.
The third episode of the BBC One series starring Keeley Hawes and Richard Madden attracted an average of 6.6 million viewers, giving the channel a 33% share.
The show peaked with seven million viewers and was the most watched programme across all channels on Sunday night, the BBC said.
The first episode of the ITV adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s novel, starring Olivia Cooke as Becky Sharp, also aired at 9pm and drew an average of 2.9 million viewers and a 15% share.
The launch episode peaked with 3.9 million viewers, including those watching on ITV +1 and ITV HD.
The first episode of Bodyguard, penned by Line Of Duty writer Jed Mercurio, aired on August 26 and scored the highest overnight audience for a drama launch this year by more than one million viewers.
It drew an average overnight rating of 6.7 million and an audience share of 35%, the BBC said, and peaked with 6.9 million viewers.
The episode’s consolidated ratings, which includes viewers watching on catch-up, was 10.4 million, the BBC’s biggest non-World Cup audience of the year so far.