Bardon return boosts 'EastEnders'

The return of John Bardon for a one-off episode gave EastEnders a ratings boost last night (Monday), according to early figures.

The actor was forced to retire from his role as Jim Branning in the soap after suffering a stroke in July 2007 but paid a surprise visit to the Square in last night's episode, shown on BBC One at 8pm. The episode was seen by 8.65m (39.6%) over 30 minutes, a week-on-week rise of 800,000 viewers and enough to place EastEnders above Coronation Street. A further 583,000 (3.2%) watched the later repeat on BBC Three.

Coronation Street settled for second place, with audiences of 8.31m (36.2%) and 8.19m (39.4%) for its 8.30pm and 7.30pm episodes respectively. Emmerdale was third with 6.12m (31.8%) at 7pm.

Source digital spy

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