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Bond beaten to a pulp by MI5 in the ratings showdown

17-Aug-2003 • Die Another Day

Sean Connery`s The final official Bond film shown on ITV earlier this week, "Diamonds Are Forever", was beaten to a pulp by his modern day rivals from the BBC`s MI5 drama "Spooks".

The two terrestrial channels have been going head-to-head for six weeks with a "spys" ratings war, culminating in the final showdown of Connery`s last official film versus the final episode from the new series of "Spooks".

Seven million watched as the second series of the popular BBC1 show ended with the future of MI5 hero Tom Quinn once again hanging in the balance after the top spook fell victim to an elaborate sting.

The cliffhanger ending means BBC1, which has already commissioned a third series of the MI5 drama, can virtually guarantee viewers will be watching when it returns next year.

The first episode of Spooks` latest run, which also began with Quinn`s life under threat, attracted nearly 8 million viewers to the channel earlier this year.

The eternal appeal of Sean Connery playing James Bond failed to dent the popularity of Spooks, with "Diamonds are Forever" managing just 4.6 million for ITV1 in the same time slot - the lowest rating of the "Monday Night Bond" series so far.

ITV will conclude the Bond run next week with the unofficial entry "Never Say Never Again".

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