The television adaptation of a raunchy 18th century novel last night won BBC4 its biggest ever audience.

The first episode of the two-part Fanny Hill, scripted by Andrew Davies, attracted an average of 1.1 million viewers, a 5.3% share at 9pm.

This beats BBC4’s previous best, the Alan Clark Diaries in January 2004, by more than 200,000, and helped the channel to its third best night ever.

The programme is a racy adaptation of a 1748 novel by John Cleland set amid the brothels and sexually promiscuous circles of 18th-century London.

Music is by Rob Lane.

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