'The Battled for Number 10' attracted an average of 2.6 million viewers to Channel 4. Prime Minister #David Cameron and opposition leader Ed Miliband took part in a live interview with Jeremy Paxman, followed by a question and answer session with the audience, moderated by Kay Burley.
Cameron and Miliband Live was produced by Channel 4 and Sky News. A further 322,000 watched the 90-minute show on Sky News. Channel 4 revealed that 20% of the audience watching were aged 16 - 34. 'The Battle for Number 10' was the first of four pre-election TV specials ahead of voting which takes place on 7th May.
Channel 4 Chief Creative Officer Jay Hunt said: "This was vintage Paxman and will turn out to be one of the TV moments of the year. I'm thrilled that 3 million people watched the election campaign start in style and I'm particularly delighted that so many viewers under 30 tuned in." Head of Sky News, John Ryley, added: "The production was testimony to the Sky team's energy, and sheer hard work. Jeremy and Kay did an incredible job."
Sky News and Channel 4 had planned to host a head-to-head with Cameron and Miliband, however the Prime Minister ruled this out, forcing the broadcasters to draw up new debate formats. The only real debate between all the leaders will be held next Thursday, hosted by ITV, and will feature seven party leaders. David Cameron and Ed Miliband will be joined by Nick Clegg (Liberal Democrats), Nigel Farage (UKIP), Nicola Sturgeon (Scottish National Party), Leanne Wood (Plaid Cymru) and Natalie Bennett (Green Party). The seven-way debate will be moderated by ITV News anchor Julie Etchingham.
The BBC will hold the next debate on 16th April and feature the leaders of the opposition parties. This excludes Prime Minister David Cameron (Conservatives) and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (Liberal Democrat). This debate will be moderated by David Dimbleby. He will also front a special Question Time, just one week before the general election.
David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg will take questions from the audience in the special Question Time programme. They will not appear together. The BBC has said they will ensure that other parties, including those from Northern Ireland, will be fairly represented during both programmes. Broadcasters have to ensure fair representation during the election campaign, which officially gets underway on 30th March when Cameron will dissolve parliament.