24 million tune in to watch Sunderland lad Jordan Pickford become an England hero

Jordan Pickford celebrates after England win the penalty shoot-out in their World Cup match against Colombia. Pic: Adam Davy/PA Wire.
Jordan Pickford celebrates after England win the penalty shoot-out in their World Cup match against Colombia. Pic: Adam Davy/PA Wire.

England's World Cup win over Colombia was watched by a peak UK TV audience of 24.4 million, ITV said today.

The figures are the highest for any World Cup match so far this year.

England's previous games attracted an average audience of 13.7 million (against Tunisia), 9.9 million (Panama) and 13.0 million (Belgium).

ITV's coverage of the Colombia match is now the most-watched TV programme of 2018.

The audience peak of 24.2 million came at 9.52pm, when Eric Dier scored England's winning penalty.

At this point roughly four in five people watching TV in the UK (81%) were tuned to ITV.

When the full ratings are published - which will include those who recorded and watched up to seven days later - the overall average is likely to rank as one of the top 10 TV audiences for an England World Cup game.

The biggest-ever audience is 25.2 million, for England's semi-final against West Germany in 1990.

The BBC has the rights to England's next 2018 World Cup game, which is against Sweden in the quarter-finals at 3pm on Saturday July 7.

If England win, the team's semi-final match will be shown by ITV.

Read more: Sunderland's Jordan Pickford becomes the nation's hero

England hero Jordan Pickford: I'm very good at saving penalties

Three Lions on the shirt! Praise for Jordan Pickford after England's World Cup penalty shoot-out with Colombia