Entertainment & Arts

Doctor Who unveiling attracts 6.2 million viewers

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Media captionPeter Capaldi was revealed as the new Doctor on a special programme hosted by Zoe Ball

An average of 6.2 million viewers tuned in to BBC One on Sunday to see Scots actor Peter Capaldi unveiled as the 12th Doctor.

The half-hour programme, hosted by Zoe Ball, was up against ITV game show Tipping Point and the swimming world championships on BBC Two.

The audience peaked at 6.9 million and enjoyed a 30% share of all viewers.

However the format, the first time the Doctor has been announced with such fanfare, left some critics unimpressed.

Writing in the Daily Mail Jim Shelley called it "truly excruciating".

"Presenter Zoe Ball demonstrated why we never see her on mainstream TV anymore, giving a display of such gushing inanity she made Claudia Winkleman look like Sylvia Plath, even introducing 'our very special guest - the Tardis'."

"I think she was just excited to be on Saturday (sic) telly as peak time again."

The show was "less a casting announcement than a global product launch," said The Telegraph's Robert Colvile, "an exercise in brand-management equivalent to the unveiling of the latest iPhone".

The Independent referred to the "25 excruciating minutes of teasing involving a Doctor Who nostalgia fest presented by Zoe Ball, that played out like a segment of Live & Kicking".

The show was a mix of live guests including former Doctor Peter Davison and actor Bernard Cribbins and filmed segments.

In its live blog, The Guardian questioned the quality of guests: "Zoe is talking to Peter Davison (who was the Doctor once), the little boy from Outnumbered (because he went to visit a doctor once) and Liza Tarbuck (because her name has the letter C in it, and so does the word 'doctor')."

The BBC declined to comment on the show unveiling the new Doctor.

Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor, which was simulcast on BBC America, was the brainchild of Charlotte Moore, the newly appointed controller of BBC One.

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