In recent years, many people have been somewhat wary of television viewing statistics delivered by Nielsen Media Research.

The Nielsen figures can make or break a programme but they are arrived at by tracking meters attached to the home televisions of participating families.

However, this system has become antiquated with the increasing ubiquity of entertainment in the digital age.

So, beginning this Autumn, Facebook will access online television databases and, adhering to strict privacy principles, will send the results along with the ages and gender of viewers to Nielsen.

The new viewing figures should prove very interesting indeed.