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Transgender TV star Bruce Jenner’s interview breaks U.S. viewing records

Interview with transgender reality star Bruce Jenner beat viewing records, with 17 million Americans tuning in, according to independant estimates

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A hotly anticipated interview on U.S. network ABC with transgender reality star Bruce Jenner on Friday beat viewing records, with 17 million Americans tuning in, according to independent estimates.

The interview, in which the 65 year old former Olympic champion decathlete came out as transgender, surpassed the 12.9 million viewers for a drama aired by rival network CBS last year, according to U.S. research firm Nielsen.

The figure represents the highest viewing for a non-sports Friday show on any network since 2003. Nielsen stated that the show also attracted 972,000 posts on social media site Twitter.

Jenner, the stepfather to reality TV mega-star Kim Kardashian, said during the interview: “My whole life has been getting me ready for this.” He added: “I am not gay. I am, as far as I know, heterosexual. I’ve always been with a woman, raising kids.”

Following his decision, Jenner has attracted much celebrity and social media support. Kris Kardashian, his former wife, tweeted: “Not only was I able to call him my husband for 25 years and father of my children, I am now able to call him my hero.”