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July 19, 2019updated 30 Sep 2022 8:05am

Sun’s Tory leader debate hits record audiences online and quadruples Talkradio listeners

By Charlotte Tobitt

A record 300,000 viewers watched a livestream of The Sun’s Conservative leadership debate with prospective PMs Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt.

The 90-minute event, billed as the “final showdown” between the two men, was streamed on the Sun website, its Twitter account and Youtube channel, and simultaneously broadcast on Sun stablemate Talkradio.

Talkradio received more than 300 per cent of its usual Monday evening listeners during the debate, which aired at 7pm, and its post-debate coverage with political editor Ross Kempsell.

The Sun and Talkradio have declared the event a “triumph” and the “stand-out political event of the year”.

Sun political editor Tom Newton Dunn hosted the event at News UK headquarters in London Bridge, with Johnson and Hunt fielding questions from Sun readers.

The average watch time on the Sun website was 25 minutes, which the Sun said was the most total viewed minutes per person ever. This compares to an average of seven minutes for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding last year.

Sun Online editor Keith Poole said: “This was a triumph for the paper that put The Sun right at the heart of the national conversation.

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“With seamless collaboration between the website, the paper and our friends at Talkradio, it’s a model for major media events to follow.”

The station’s programme director Dennie Morris added: “The collaboration with the Sun has produced radio’s stand-out political event of the year, driving online audiences to a record level.”

Last week ITV’s head-to-head with Johnson and Hunt, named Britain’s Next Prime Minister, was watched by an average audience of 4.3m.

The programme secured a 25 per cent viewing share last Tuesday (9 July).

The BBC’s debate hosted by Emily Maitlis on 18 June was watched by more than 5m people, while Channel 4’s debate, which was snubbed by Johnson but featured his six rivals from earlier in the contest, was seen by an average of 1.3m viewers.

It is expected that the new Prime Minister will be announced on Tuesday morning.

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