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Johnson and Corbyn TV debate watched by more than six million


By Lucy Mapstone, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor

More than six million people watched the first live leaders' debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn.

The pair's appearance on ITV drew an average audience of 6.7 million viewers when it aired between 8pm and 9pm on Tuesday, according to overnight ratings.

The programme peaked at 7.3 million, ITV said.

According to one report, the programme peaked at seven million viewers between 8.50pm and 8.55pm.

ITV said that Johnson v Corbyn: The ITV Debate, hosted by newsreader Julie Etchingham, was watched by a peak of 1.1 million 16-34 year olds.

The debate was up against Holby City on BBC One and MasterChef: The Professionals on BBC Two, both airing 8pm-9pm.

The leader of the Conservatives clashed with the Labour leader over their rival plans for Brexit during the heated debate, with Mr Corbyn describing the Prime Minister's pledge to "get Brexit done" by the end of January as "nonsense", while Mr Johnson suggested his rival was "not fit to lead our country".

Mr Johnson and Mr Corbyn also contested issues concerning the NHS and a further referendum on Scottish independence in the first televised debate of the General Election campaign.

There are further leaders' events planned ahead of the election, with the BBC hosting a Question Time special on Friday.

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