The Estate’s a smash hit

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WHETHER you love it or hate it, The Estate is a smash hit with TV viewers, according to BBC figures

The first episode of the controversial documentary about life in Coleraine’s Ballysally estate was watched by almost 300,000 viewers.

That opening show attracted an average 240,000 viewers - 40 percent of the total audience share.

The repeat on Thursday evening gained another 74,000 viewers, giving an average audience total for the first show of 298,000.

In comparison 291,000 homes watched the first episode of ITV’s Dancing on Ice hosted by Christine Bleakley and Phillip Schofield.

And the Coleraine show’s popularity was further underlined with 232,000 viewers tuning in for the second show in the series last Monday night.

Many people who missed the opening episodes have been catching up on BBC iPlayer.

The show is also popular in Scotland which last year broadcast the critically accalimed The Scheme about a Kilmarnock housing estate.

Both Twitter and Facebook have been red hot with people posting their views about the portrayal of Ballysally.

Figures from the show have been splashed all over the daily and Sunday papers, giving interviews about the show, their lives and the public’s reaction to the fly-on-the-wall series.

INSIDE THIS WEEK’S TIMES: DON’T MISS THE TWO PAGE NEWS SPECIAL ON THE LATEST ABOUT THE ESTATE