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UK coverage of Margaret Thatcher funeral struggled to pass 5m viewers while BBC received 182 'biased coverage' complaints

By Angela Haggerty | Reporter

April 18, 2013 | 2 min read

BBC coverage of the funeral of Margaret Thatcher attracted an average 3.2 million viewers during a three-hour live broadcast and received 182 complaints over biased coverage.

Controversial: Margaret Thatcher was a divisive figure in UK politics

Controversial: Margaret Thatcher was a divisive figure in UK politics

The audience number peaked at 4.4 million and account for 42.3 per cent of all TV viewing between the period of 9.15am and 12.15pm.

The figures were understood to be around double that which the BBC would normally report during it's usual Wednesday morning programming. Coverage on ITV of the event was shown on its This Morning programme and brought in 1.1m viewers, while Sky News reported an average of 405,000 viewers between 11am and 11.30am.

The figures are lower than may have been expected for a ceremonial event. In contrast, the Royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton attracted over 24 million viewers in 2011, while the funeral of Princess Diana in 1997 was watched by more than 32 million people.

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