The UK's largest commercial TV broadcaster, ITV, is losing viewers.

Figures released by the British Audience Research Bureau show the company's flagship channel ITV1, lost 10% of its audience in the first two months of this year, compared with the same period in 2004.

And the biggest numbers switching off are in the advertiser-attractive 16 to 34 age group, where viewing is down by almost 23%.

ITV says the fall is due is to the absence of its ratings- winner reality show I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here.

BARB shows ITV1 is still the most popular channel during peak hours but is facing a decline in its more affluent viewers, a trend that will ring alarm bells among advertisers.

The disappointing audience figures come just before the broadcaster is expected to announce a rise in earnings of close to 40% and a profit hike of around 17%.

A spokeswoman for ITV says: "We are about to unveil a strong spring/summer line-up and autumn - traditionally our strongest season - is yet to come. ITV2 and ITV3 have had record-breaking months and it is now important to look at ITV as a portfolio of channels."

Data sourced from mad.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff