Virtual Grand National attracts 4.8m viewers and raises £2.6m for NHS

Simon Austin's picture
Grand National

A peak audience of more than 4.8m - almost a third of all TV viewers on Saturday afternoon - watched Potters Corner win the Virtual Grand National on ITV.

The virtual race, produced by Manchester’s Carm Productions, took centre stage after the real race was cancelled because of the coronavirus crisis.

It attracted an average audience of 4.3m, a 28% share, and, most importantly of all, bookmakers will donate more than £2.6m from profits to NHS Charities Together, the umbrella organisation which represents more than 140 NHS charities.

Carm Productions said: "What an incredible few days it has been. We first aired the Virtual Grand National in 2017, and we feel honoured that it has been able to stand in for the Grand National at this difficult time. Let’s hope it has entertained racegoers and the wider public. 

“We also hope that has been able to help raise funds to support the NHS at this important time. We would also like to thank ITV and The Jockey Club of their ongoing help and support.”

The race was a virtual epic, with the Christian Williams-trained Potters Corner (18-1) clinging on under teenage rider Jack Tudor to hold off the challenge of Walk In The Mill on the run from the Elbow.

Last year, the Virtual Grand National was watched by 737k people and the actual Grand National by almost 10 million.