Nearly three times as many Brits watched Britain's Got Talent than those who saw the election debate
A combined audience of 2.9 million viewers tuned in to watch the leaders in their first live TV audience Q&A, billed The Battle For No 10, compared to 8.5m for ITV's Britain's Got Talent first live semi-final.
Coronation Street, which aired for half an hour from 9pm, was watched by 7.3m viewers.
The political debate peaked at 3.3m and a 15 per cent share at 9.30pm, with an average audience of 415,000 on Sky News.
A live-stream attracted almost 190,000 viewers on Sky News' Facebook feed and almost 50,000 on YouTube.
A total of 2.9 million viewers watched the leaders in their first live TV audience Q&A
A similar format between then-front runners David Cameron and Ed Miliband achieved an average of 2.9m in a slightly later time slot during the 2015 general election campaign.
A peak of 9.6m ITV viewers watched magical duo DNA and teen singer Kyle Tomlinson make it through to the Britain's Got Talent final in the first knockout round at the expense of the daring Tyrone and Mina and their passionate but hair-raising knife throwing act.
This was compared to 8.5 million who watched Britain's Got Talent first live semi-final Britain's Got Talent: Most memorable moments Mon, May 1, 2017
Britain's Got Talent: The best and worst moments from the ITV talent show.
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Dance act Just Us get the golden buzzer
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The programme was the most watched show on TV on Monday night with an average share of 38 per cent while the results announcement at 9.30pm was viewed by 6.5m people.
The figures for ITV include viewers of the ITV+1 and ITV HD channels.
Ratings could increase on the debate once catch-up audiences are considered.