CORONABOBS ISOLATION DAY 118 – Diary of a Self-Isolator 18.7.2020 BLOG 20th July 2020

CORONABOBS ISOLATION DAY 118 – Diary of a Self-Isolator Saturday 18th July 2020

Boris Johnson and Queen send TV ratings to historic highs

Coronavirus has dominated the most-watched TV programmes of the year so far, with speeches by the Prime Minister and the Queen attracting some of the biggest audiences in broadcasting history, new analysis shows.

Boris Johnson’s announcement on March 23 that the UK was going into lockdown was simultaneously broadcast across six television channels: BBC One, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky News and BBC News.

On BBC One, the speech attracted 14.6 million viewers, which by itself was one of the biggest TV audiences in recent years.

But combined with the ratings across all six channels, the speech had a total TV audience averaging 28.2 million – large enough to rank as one of the most-watched broadcasts in UK television history.

The Queen was not far behind.

Her short televised address to the nation on April 5, during which she echoed Dame Vera Lynn’s wartime song and told the nation “we will meet again”, had a combined TV audience across seven channels of 24.3 million.

Meanwhile Mr Johnson’s second TV address delivered on May 10, during which he announced an initial easing of the lockdown in England, pulled in a combined audience of 27.6 million: slightly lower than his first speech, but still huge by historic standards.

A massive 18.8 million TV viewers saw this second speech just on BBC One, a figure which currently ranks as the largest audience for a single channel so far in 2020.

By way of a comparison, the Gavin And Stacey Christmas special – the most-watched programme of 2019 – pulled in a TV audience of 17.1 million viewers.

Television audiences numbering more than 20 million have become increasingly rare in the UK.

The biggest audience in the past decade for any broadcast on a single channel was 24.5 million, which was the number who watched the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

But excluding news and sport events, the biggest TV audience of the past decade was 17.7 million, set by an edition of The X Factor back in December 2010.

Figures quoted here are consolidated ratings, meaning they include people who recorded and watched a broadcast up to seven days later – the industry standard for measuring TV audiences.

The analysis has been done by the PA news agency, using figures published by the audience research organisation Barb.

Because the method of calculating ratings has changed several times over the past 70 years, it is impossible to know for certain how this year’s bumper TV audiences compare like-for-like with the size of audiences for events such as the 1966 World Cup final or the 1981 royal wedding – though they are likely to rank alongside them in terms of the sheer volume of households tuned to their television sets.

Coronavirus appears again further down the most-watched list for 2020, in the shape of a BBC One news special that followed directly after Mr Johnson’s first televised address (a TV audience of 13.5 million) and an edition of the BBC News At Six shown on March 18 (8.8 million), the day the Prime Minister announced that schools were to close across the country.

The chart is not entirely filled with broadcasts to do with Covid-19, however.

ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent and Saturday Night Takeaway make the top 10, along with BBC One dramas The Salisbury Poisonings and Call The Midwife.

The data from Barb also shows that in April of this year – the first full month of lockdown – the average amount of television watched each day in the UK was 211 minutes.

This was the highest monthly level since January 2018 (213 minutes).

The figure then dropped to 192 minutes in May 2020, while in June it was 189 minutes – though this was still 9% higher than the equivalent figure for June 2019 (173 minutes).

Here are the top 10 biggest TV audiences in 2020 so far, based on the highest-rated instance of each type of programme or broadcast on a single channel:

  1. Prime ministerial statement, May 10 (BBC One) 18.75 million


  1. BBC news special, Mar 23 (BBC One) 13.51 million


  1. Britain’s Got Talent, Apr 11 (ITV) 10.85 million


  1. Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, Mar 21 (ITV) 10.61 million


  1. The Salisbury Poisonings, Jun 14 (BBC One) 10.02 million


  1. Quiz, Apr 13 (ITV) 8.80 million


  1. BBC News At Six, Mar 18 (BBC One) 8.78 million


  1. Call The Midwife, Jan 5 (BBC One) 8.61 million


  1. White House Farm, Feb 12 (ITV) 8.42 million


  1. Silent Witness, Jan 7 (BBC One) 8.28 million

The number of new cases of coronavirus rose by almost 260,000 in 24 hours – today, Saturday. The largest single-day increase since the pandemic began, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday.

Pwllheli to Shrewsbury line

According to the WHO, this is the first time the number of new daily infections has surpassed a quarter of a million.

The biggest increases were in the US, Brazil, India and South Africa.

The global death toll from coronavirus also rose by 7,360 – the largest daily increase since 10 May.

The previous record rise in new confirmed cases was recorded by the WHO just one day earlier.

The total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus passed 14 million on Saturday, with over 600,000 recorded deaths, according to the tally kept by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

What is happening in the US?

Cases are surging in several US states, particularly in southern states that were initially reluctant to enforce lockdowns or mandate the wearing of masks. Florida, Texas and Arizona have seen particularly high surges.

Florida is currently the epicentre of the US epidemic. The state recorded more than 10,000 new infections and 90 more deaths on Saturday, bringing its total number of cases to more than 337,000 and its death toll to more than 5,000.

In recent weeks, hospitals across the state had also warned that their ICUs were at capacity and that they were unable to accept any new patients.

Measures to stem the spread of the virus, including wearing masks, have become highly politicised in the US.

The US’s top infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci urged state and local leaders on Friday to be “forceful” in making sure people wore masks, although President Donald Trump later said he would not mandate mask-wearing on a national level.

Which other countries are seeing surges?

In Brazil, where the coronavirus and measures to contain it have been highly politicised, cases continue to surge – although the WHO announced earlier this week that cases were no longer increasing exponentially.

Scientists have also warned that India could still be months away from the peak of its outbreak – despite the country already having the third-highest number of confirmed cases. Hospitals in the worst-hit cities, including Mumbai and Bangalore, have been overwhelmed with patients.

India recorded another 34,884 infections in a 24-hour period on Saturday, and another 671 deaths linked to coronavirus.

And South Africa, which saw one of the largest single-day rises in cases, has the highest number of confirmed infections on the African continent.

What’s happening in Europe?

Western European countries, which have managed to largely contain the spread of the virus, are now beginning to reopen their borders and businesses.

However, there are localised surges across Spain – the worst being in the country’s north-eastern Catalonia region.

The region has again recorded a daily increase in confirmed cases of more than 1,000, and about four million people in ​​Barcelona, ​​La Noguera and El Segrià have been ordered to stay at home for 15 days.

Among the measures imposed are a ban on public or private meetings of more than 10 people, a ban on visits to nursing homes, and the closure of gyms and nightclubs.

Spain only ended its tough national lockdown about four weeks ago and was hoping to kick-start the economy, particularly with tourism numbers.

The streets of Barcelona were reported emptier on Saturday, although some residents may have defied orders and headed off in cars for second homes.

Neighbouring France is now considering closing borders with Spain in response to the surge.

When asked whether a closure of borders could be possible, new Prime Minister Jean Castex said: “We are monitoring this very closely, here in particular, because it is a real issue that we also need to discuss with the Spanish authorities.”

The French border was only reopened to general citizens on 21 June.

On our front we’ve not been up to a lot due to a bit of an illness I am trying to recover from. I am now working on my Ebay Project where I am trying to list and sell an item a day from 1st June, for £5 each to finance my i-pad. I had fallen behind but not catching up fast.

On TV we watched North York Moors: A Wild Year. The photography is amazing. And also The World’s Most Scenic Railways – Wales Pwllheli to Shrewsbury. Again, wonderful photography. We have travelled this line and it is as good if not better than portrayed.

North Yorkshire Moors




Two for the price of one today

“Have no fear of perfection. You’ll never reach it.”

— Salvador Dali

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”

— Dalai Lama


Happiness is… the Pwllheli to Shrewsbury coastal rail line.


EBay is useless. I searched for “lighters” and got 12,544 matches.


Love is…the deliciousness of shared sleep

5 Things To Be Grateful For During Lockdown/Coronavirus

We are grateful  Lockdown gives us  a time…

  1. A time for the Queen on TV…A time for Boris on TV.
  2. A time for a Coronavirus news on TV…A time for Ant & Dec on TV.
  3. A time for light entertainment on TV…A time for drama on TV.
  4. A time for Coronavirus cases to go up…A time for Coronavirus cases to go down.
  5. A time to visit the North York Moors…A time to travel the Pwllheli to Shrewsbury coastal railway


DAY 105        14 Times – 126 Feet              Cumulative Total 15,705 Feet






©2020 Phil M Robinson