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low figures Vogue Williams says ‘people watch TV differently now’ as she responds to The Big Deal dip

The show is doing better having been moved to a Sunday night slot

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Vogue Williams PIC David Conachy

Vogue Williams PIC David Conachy

Vogue Williams PIC David Conachy

Vogue Williams has responded to criticism that Virgin Media’s €3m show The Big Deal has failed to make an impact on audiences given the dramatic fall in live viewers in its Saturday night slot.

The first episode on September 4 brought in 177,900 live TV viewers and the figures decreased for several weeks before moving to Sunday night.

However Williams says the figures reflect how technology is changing the way we watch TV.

She said more people are now watching the show on demand on the Virgin Media player.

The average total viewership across all platforms for the first four episodes was 188,000.

“Nowadays people watch TV very differently. They don’t all watch it on the same night and they find different ways of catching up.

"Tons of people don’t have TV licences anymore, they don’t watch it on their TV sets at home, they watch it on their laptops.

"I even watch it on my lap top. So viewership figures have to be counted differently to reflect that. You have to look at consolidated figures.”

The six-part series was billed to be the next Saturday night talent extravaganza – replacing hit franchises like The X Factor and Ireland’s Got Talent.

But the show was moved to Sunday nights when live ratings failed to bring in the numbers TV bosses were expecting.

Vogue says: “I am not going to say there wasn’t a dip- there was a dip- but now it is doing really well in the Sunday night slot again because more people stay in that night to watch TV and because it’s a family show.

"People are also going to pick and choose when they want to watch it at a later time during the week.”

Describing the series as “a learning curve” she said the finale, which airs tonight at 7pm, will have a surprise in store for viewers: “There are some incredible acts who are all really, really different so no one will guess who is going to win.”

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Meanwhile, the star is currently working on a number of other projects including two podcasts - My Therapist Ghosted Me (with Joanne McNally) and Spencer & Vogue- as well as a second fashion collection with Little Mistress, which launches on October 22.

But despite her rising profile in the UK and Ireland she says she has no interest in fame: “I would rather be successful than famous.

"Success means more to me than fame. Fame will only take you so far. I don’t have an innate desire to be famous. I love doing what I do and that kind of comes with it but its not what I am chasing.

"I am chasing to continue the career that I am in. It doesn’t matter if people know who you are because that’s not going to pay your bills. You want to have a successful career for it to last a long time.”

She also said stars are becoming more in control of their relationship with the paparazzi: “They are really respectful of me and I am respectful of them so its kind of like a co-existing relationship. I actually get to know some of them because I see them so much.

“There is only one pap who annoys me because of the way he will literally jump out in front of my son and try to get pictures. But when that happens I will put my hands up and I will make it an unsellable photo because I don’t want someone jumping out in front of my son.

“Obviously if they take pictures of Theodore from far away that’s fine, I put him on my social media, but jumping out at him and giving him a fright – I don’t think you should do that to any child so I will try and protect him in that kind of situation.”

She said her relationship with the paparazzi has also changed since their toxic behaviour a decade ago.

On her own experience with ‘up-skirt’ photographs she said: “For me, that happened in Dublin ten years ago. One photographer used to do that quite a lot but this is going back ten years ago. I don’t think that’s a ‘done thing’ anymore. I certainly don’t get that now. They are very respectful to me.”

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