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How Simon Schama beat the bikers

    Simon Schama’s five-part BBC2 series, The Story of the Jews, which ended on Sunday, won critical acclaim but what did the public make of it?

    The opening episode proved to be the channel’s third most popular programme that week, attracting 2.4 million viewers, according to the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Bureau (Barb).

    That’s eight times the number of UK Jews, though well short of the seven million who regularly watch BBC2’s chart-topper, The Great British Bake-Off.

    However, by the second week the history show had dropped to 1.57 million; and to 1.2 million the week after, yet still ahead of the Wednesday and Friday editions of the Hairy Bikers’ Best of British.

    Barb figures are not out for the past two weeks, when Schama was up against ITV’s returning Downtown Abbey.
    If BBC had wanted more viewers, they should have made it The Great Jewish Bake-Off.

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