Normal People

Normal People dominates the 2020 BBC iPlayer charts

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The BBC has revealed just what we’ve been watching on iPlayer in 2020 and Irish drama Normal People is the runaway hit (so far)

The BBC has released the iPlayer figures for 2020 up until the end of November and Normal People based on the Sally Rooney novel of the same name is the clear winner with the audience. In a year when streaming records have been broken everywhere, it’s interesting to see just what we’ve been watching and how lockdown may have affected our viewing.

Normal People garnered an enormous 62,706,000 requests. To give some perspective, Killing Eve series 3 only managed a ‘mere’ 39,344,000. Overall iPlayer has recorded over 5.3 billion requests, some 33% up on 2019 (and Covid-19 must take a lot of the credit). The BBC made a conscious effort to place content on iPlayer at the start of the first lockdown and the service still has a vast range of fantastic content available.

The numbers

The top 10 consists of:

Rank Programme Series Requests
1 Normal People 62,706,000
2 Killing Eve Series 3 39,344,000
3 MasterChef Series 16 22,206,000
4 The Split Series 2 18,939,000
5 Silent Witness Series 23 17,181,000
6 The Secrets She Keeps 16,866,000
7 Life 15,838,000
8 I May Destroy You 15,735,000
9 This Country Series 3 15,341,000
10 The Nest 14,684,000

If we look at the statistics for single episodes of series, a different picture emerges:

Rank Programme Series Episode Requests
1 Killing Eve Series 3 Episode 1 – Slowly Slowly Catchy Monkey 7,398,000
2 Normal People Episode 1 6,378,000
3 The Nest Episode 1 4,105,000
4 Dracula Episode 1 – The Rules of the Beast 3,489,000
5 The Split Series 2 Episode 1 3,458,000
6 The Secrets She Keeps Episode 1 3,336,000
7 This Country Series 3 Episode 1 – A Letter from Slugs 3,072,000
8 Roadkill Episode 1 2,998,000
9 Life Episode 1 2,891,000
10 The Salisbury Poisonings Episode 1 2,670,000

Now Killing Eve series 3 dominates this list, but even accounting for episodes per series (Killing Eve had eight versus twelve for Normal People) scaling puts the Jodie Comer series on 4,918,000 per episode (on average) whereas Normal People averaged 5,225,500 per episode across the run.

Normal People is still available on iPlayer (as is Killing Eve series 3) and stars Daisy Edgar-Jones as Marianne who falls in love with Connell, played by Paul Mescal. The BBC press release on this year’s watching can be found here.