Entertainment & Arts

The Voice UK final watched by seven million

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Media captionLeanne Mitchell's coach Sir Tom Jones said she deserved to win

More than seven million people tuned in to see Leanne Mitchell crowned as the winner of BBC singing contest The Voice, according to overnight ratings.

The big-voiced 28-year-old, from Lowestoft, Suffolk, had been mentored by Sir Tom Jones. She beat Bo Bruce, Tyler James and Vince Kidd.

The final of the BBC One show had an average audience of 7.1 million people.

That was just over half of the 13.1 million that tuned in for the Britain's Got Talent live final on ITV1 in May.

A BBC spokeswoman said Saturday's viewing figures for The Voice had peaked at 8.7 million and it was the most watched programme of the day.

It also helped make the series the highest-rating debut for a BBC entertainment programme on record, she added.

Episodes of The Voice consistently attracted average audiences of more than 10 million in April, but the ratings had dropped to 4.5 million by last week.

The series began with blind auditions as mentors Jessie J, Sir Tom Jones, Will.I.Am and Danny O'Donoghue judged the contestants with their backs to the stage.

It then progressed to live elimination shows. BBC One controller Danny Cohen recently said producers would look at ways to improve the final stages for future series.

"We'll take away a few things from the live shows to tinker with for series two," he said.

Mitchell, a former holiday camp singer, has now won a record contract. She writes songs, plays keyboards and had previously been close to sealing a record deal.

Wiltshire singer Bo Bruce, 27, had been the bookmakers' favourite to win the BBC One show. She was mentored by Danny O'Donoghue from the band The Script.

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Media captionLeanne Mitchell says she was "really surprised" by win

Tyler James was backed by Black Eyed Peas star Will.I.Am and Vince Kidd was mentored by Jessie J.

All four contestants performed with their celebrity mentors during the live show on Saturday.

Speaking after her victory, Mitchell said: "I am starting to believe in myself."

And Sir Tom said: "It gives me confidence that there is justice in this world."

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