Mount Stewart TV show ratings beat EastEnders

The lavish Mount Stewart restoration which is captivating viewers and visitors alike
The lavish Mount Stewart restoration which is captivating viewers and visitors alike

A UTV programme which has beaten EastEnders in the ratings war two weeks in a row in Northern Ireland is getting set for its biggest viewing figures yet.

Mount Stewart The Big House Reborn will be to screens on Monday at 8pm for the concluding programme of a six-part series charting the restoration of the 18th Century stately home.

The programme saw an average of 167,000 across the country tuning in last week to give them a 29 per cent share of the viewing figures and beat BBC’s EastEnders by nearly 20,000.

Monday’s episode is set to do just as well as the series concludes with a big reveal of the completed project.

Staff at Mount Stewart are seen in the programme working tirelessly to complete the final touches of the restoration project ahead of the looming deadline.

The arrival of the Londonderry Loan boosts the house’s collection of items from 500 to 15,000 while the National Trust also purchase the demesne surrounding the gardens.

Viewers will see the restoration project finally complete after three years, the Big House is transformed and officially reopened by Prince Charles.

Jon Kerr, Mount Stewart manager who features in the show, said the success of the show has also seen a 25 per cent increase in visitor numbers across the week.

Speaking of the big reveal on Monday he added: “The house is still very much recognisable as the original Mount Stewart House but the restoration has brought back all the glamour and magic.

“Any old building needs some tender loving care and Mount Stewart is no exception, so the project has allowed us to bring it back to the glorious condition it was once in.”

And when it comes to the visitors, Mr Kerr said they’ve been impressed by the transformation.

He said: “I think for me the single biggest impact is seen in the reaction and feedback of our visitors. It’s returned the wow factor, they’re blown away by how beautiful and special the house now truly is.

“The reaction of our visitors who have been before is the most notable, they’ve commented on how fantastically the house has been restored and feel it has been money well spent.

“That means a lot, to know people feel we’ve done Mount Stewart justice.

“People have been enthralled by the series and it has encouraged people who have never come before to visit and experience the surroundings for themselves.

“Because of the fabulous job of the restoration we’re now going to open Mount Stewart at weekends during the winter season, the first time we have ever done that.

“We are also going to dress the house for Christmas as it would have been when the Stewart family lived there.”