The Night Manager, the BBC One spy thriller starring Tom Hiddleston, was the most-watched show on British TV over the Easter weekend, beating ITV's documentary on the Queen At 90 into second place by around one million viewers.
Over 6.6m people tuned in to watch an intense climax to the BBC's modern adaptation of John Le Carre's 1993 novel, which also starred Hugh Laurie as a villainous billionaire arms dealer, and Olivia Coleman as a shadowy intelligence operative. The show capitivated audiences over six episodes, and rumours are beginning to build about a second series, while Tom Hiddleston turned in such a performance that he's being tipped in some quarters as the next actor to play James Bond.
Our Queen at 90, meanwhile, was a thoroughgoing investigation of the woman who has become the UK's longest serving monarch of all time. Awarded a coveted five stars by the Daily Mail's TV critic Christopher Stevens, the show scored interviews with the likes of Prince William, his wife Kate and various of the Queen's children about their royal relative. It scored a respectable 5.6m viewers, beating the Antiques Roadshow, which it was also up against, by 0.7m pairs of eyeballs.
Said Stevens: "The documentary was packed with expertly chosen clips from the archive, including one marvellous moment of the Queen as a girl, with her father and an alsatian pup that was frolicking with a giant panda cub. As pets go, that beats a hamster."
Hiddleston's turn as the enigmatic ex-soldier turned spook Jonathan Pine, meanwhile, united critics in rapturous praise. The Guardian described the series as "stylish and trenchant espionage drama of, no doubt, award-garnering brilliance", while the Telegraph described the episode as a "superb climax", despite a few changes to the original story, which producers claim were thrown in to keep audiences "on their toes". Le Carre's book has a far darker ending than the neatly tied up TV version.