The ever-popular Channel 4 series Big Fat Gyspy Weddings returned for a second series on UK screens last night (February 14, 2012) and drew some impressive audience figures. According to a report from The Guardian, Big Fat Gypsy Weddings drew in 5.7 million viewers, over its original 9pm airing on Channel 4 and its 10pm airing on Channel 4+1. This represents a 23.4% share of viewer figures for the slot.

The show was pitched against the BBC's Junior Doctors series which, although popular, perhaps lacks the shock factor of seeing a bride-to be dressed up in a dress that most likely cost thousands to make and is modelled on a palm tree, whilst her maid of honour struggles to get into a limousine bearing a similar garment based on a pineapple - which is what Big Fat Gypsy Weddings provided last night. It also performed well against the BBC drama Prisoner's Wives which, at its midway point in the series, attracted a 17.3% share of the market with 4.2 million viewers. And ITV's Biggest Loser turned out to be just that, with just 2.3 million viewers, representing a 9.6% share.

It's not all good news for Channel 4 though. Despite sitting comfortably at the top of last night's ratings, the season opener under-performed in comparison to last year's, which attracted 6.36 million viewers. Given that the subject matter of the show tends to have remained fairly static (outlandish wedding dresses, young girls dancing in a provocative manner and a repeated refusal to discuss how much their lavish betrothals actually cost ) interest in the series may well be starting to wane. Or perhaps, with it being Valentines night, fewer people had stayed at home to watch TV.