UKTV has released consolidated viewing figures from the first quarter of the year and announced its highest ever Q1 share of viewing (4.73%).

Popular channels Dave, Drama, Gold, Yesterday and Alibi have all experienced growth between January 1 and March 31 as well as on-demand service UKTV Play. In addition, younger viewers (16-34) have flocked to the network, 10% more than this time last year. February and March were also record months for SOCI.

CEO Marcus Arthur said: "UKTV achieved record viewing in 2020 and I'm so pleased to see that momentum continuing into the first quarter of this year, driven by brilliant programming - be that our original shows, global acquisitions or viewer favourites from the BBC archive."

"Starting the year with a strong SOCI, viewing share, impressive ratings and more viewers than ever, particularly 16-34s, is evidence that our growth strategy is on the right trajectory. It is also testament to the hard work of colleagues across the business throughout a difficult year for many. As we enter and adapt to another period of change, everyone here at UKTV is focussed on continuing to deliver brilliant new shows for viewers to enjoy."

Comedy entertainment channel Dave has witnessed a significant number of 16-34s tuning in throughout the first quarter of the year, 20% more compared with the same period last year. This is thanks to new and returning UKTV Originals including Mel Giedroyc: Unforgivable, Meet the Richardsons (S2) and Hypothetical (S3). The channel has also increased its viewing share by 4% y-o-y.

Dedicated crime drama channel Alibi has also had y-o-y uplift (+16%) driven by S2 of the action-packed police series and international hit Hudson & Rex which averaged 548k viewers. Rosario Dawson-led drama series Briarpatch also proved popular with viewers, 516k viewers (Total Consumption) tuned in to the premiere of that in Ja nuary.

UKTV Original shows have proved popular with viewers on Gold and W. The Vicar of Dibley: Inside Out launched on 6th March on Gold to 577k viewers, the best performing retrospective since The Story of Only Fools and Horses in 2017.

Richard Watsham, UKTV's Director of Commissioning, said: "I'm pleased to see Bangers and Cash taking Yesterday's ratings to new heights. The team has done a fantastic job, with our brilliant production partners, to populate the channel's schedule with a number of high rating, high quality hits."