Three cheers for Ten. Network Ten took a bit longer than expected to produce its mornings ratings report Friday. Perhaps it was the shock of finding that The Bachelor topped the ratings last night in metro markets and nationally (but not in the regions were viewers remain suspicious).

Perhaps it was the understandable caution at Ten after reading the overnight online commentary on what has or hasn’t been happening on or off the set of The Bach. Some of the online commentary raises the question of whether the result last night was accurate. Certainly Ten hasn’t helped itself by putting a ban on public appearances and comments by The Bach’s winner and the man himself. Whatever, Ten finally issued its first ratings report around 9.31am.

The program had 1.863 million national/1.374 million metro/461,000 regional viewers for the winner’s announcement (winner though is not quite the right description, is it? Sacrificial victim? A bit too extreme? How about publicity seeker … the winning publicity seeker? The rest of last night’s gush — that’s all the tooing and froooing before the big moment (a bit like a hot date?) averaged 1.381 million national/1.026 million metro/335,000 regional viewers.

Viewers in the metros, or rather women viewers in the metros, from 16 through 54, watched in droves. In the regions they were more cautious — Home and Away (that other Fantasy Island of Australian TV for young female viewers) averaged 532,000 regional viewers. The home builder special, The Block Glasshouse on Nine averaged 486,000. — Glenn Dyer

Media love-in. Congratulations also to Bronwyn Bishop, who yesterday managed to bring most of the generally feuding media together in fiery condemnation of the plan to keep Muslim women who cover their faces in a glass cage with the schoolkids. Andrew Bolt has been railing against Islam and the burqa all morning. But even he didn’t think it should be banned, telling readers on his blog that the mooted parliamentary laws were “not smart or helpful”:

“I don’t like our Parliament doing to such women what is already done to them at their mosques — sit up the back. I would hate to see veiled women up the back and behind glass while their husbands sit down at the front,” he wrote.

The Courier-Mail wasn’t in favour either — here’s it’s front page …

Your correspondent kept an eye out for who, if anyone, in the media would be the first to speak out in favour of the ban, and did find a few such independent-minded journos out there. Ben Fordham from the Today show tweeted: “If people don’t want to show their face they shouldn’t be allowed inside in the first place. My local RSL has tougher security”. Given all visitors to parliament go through metal detectors, we’ll believe that when we see it Ben.

Today’s Daily Telegraph doesn’t mention the apparently short-lived rule change in its print edition at all, as the Oz’s media editor Sharri Markson pointed out on Twitter. Surely that was an oversight. The Tele did however find room for a two-page spread on the radicalisation of Young, “the unofficial Muslim capital of the outback”. — Myriam Robin

Front page of the day. It’s the third time this week the Daily Star has led with stories of black-eyed ghost children. So just remember — things can always get worse …

Peter Fray

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