Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony attracts 11 million viewers

An average of 7.6 million viewers watch on Channel 4, but the audience peaks at 11.2 million

The Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony attracted a peak audience of over 11 million viewers last night (August 29).

According to The Guardian, a total of 10.9 million viewers tuned in to Channel 4 to watch the event between 8.45pm and 9pm. For a five-minute window during that period, the audience rose as high as 11.2 million.

The event had an “enlightenment” theme and was narrated by Ian McKellen and Dr Stephen Hawking. It also featured a performance of Ian Dury’s 1981 track ‘Spasticus Austisticus’ by dance duo Orbital, before concluding with a renditition of ‘I Am What I Am’ by soul singer Beverley Knight.


The average audience across the Opening Ceremony, which began at 8pm and finished later than scheduled at 12.20am, settled at 7.6 million. The Guardian reports that this is five times higher than Channel 4’s average for a Wednesday night over the last three months.

The Olympic Games Opening Ceremony was watched by a peak of 26.9 million viewers on July 27, while the Closing Ceremony on August 12 attracted an only slightly smaller audience of 26.3 million. The Paralympic Games Closing Ceremony will take place on September 9 and is due to feature a performance from Coldplay.


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