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ITV1's Marple loses viewers to stronger BBC Sunday line-up

LONDON - ITV1's Sunday night centrepiece 'Agatha Christie's Marple' dropped 10% of its audience last night, registering 4.5m viewers according to unofficial overnight figures.

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The first of four separate stories featuring a new Miss Marple, Julia Mackenzie, started last Sunday with 5m viewers and a 21% share of viewing in the 8pm-10pm slot.

However, this time it was up against a stronger BBC One programming line-up at 8pm-9pm. The second of a two-part 'Casualty' special gave BBC One 5.4m viewers and a 22.9% share, bigger than the 3.8m audience and 18% share it managed last week with 'Antiques Roadshow'.

At 9pm-10pm BBC One scored 6.5m viewers and a 26.9% share with detective drama 'Waking The Dead'.

Across the two hours that 'Marple' ran, its audience remained steady at 4.5m and it claimed an average share of 18.9%.

On Saturday night, the fourth week of ITV1's 'X Factor' brought in 10m viewers. This was down substantially from last week's 11.8m audience but up slightly from the opening week's 9.9m.

On at 7pm-8.15pm, 'X Factor' took an overwhelming share of viewing of 50.3%, almost five times that of BBC One's 'Weakest Link' special at 7.10pm-8pm.

From 8.15pm it was a tighter affair between ITV1 gameshow 'The Cube' and BBC One's 'Casualty'. The latter emerged ahead by 5.1m to 4.8m viewers, with a share of 24.1% to 22.8%.

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