An average of one million television viewers tuned in for the spectacular Preston Passion, it has been confirmed.
The BBC has said viewing figures for the Good Friday broadcast peaked at 1.2m with an average of one million watching the hour-long production which went out on BBC One.
The programme, a modern day re-telling of the Easter story, showed three short films set in Preston followed by a live performance involving thousands of local people on the city’s bus station.
The BBC’s flagship religious programme, Songs of Praise, attracts an average audience of just over two million viewers every weekend.
Aaqil Ahmed, head of religion at the BBC, said the show had been the culmination of 18 months of work to create the centrepiece of the broadcaster’s religious programme this Easter.
He said: “These stories are important to the people of Preston, but also to everyone watching on BBC One.
“It does not matter that this was from Preston, these stories are universal and stories which are relevant to anyone watching.”
Up to 1,500 people lined the streets around the bus station for hours before and after the production, which concluded with a performance from pop star Jamelia.