Christmas Day TV ratings released

Mrs Brown's Boys came out top in the Christmas TV ratings as the most-watched show on a single channel with 6.8 million viewers.

The hilarious antics of Irish mammy Agnes Brown left fans glued to their screens after finishing up their festive dinner and meant broadcaster BBC rocketed to the top spot on December 25.

The show, which was the first of the comedy's two-part winter special, beat Strictly Come Dancing's Christmas special into second, with 6.5 million viewers.

This was despite fan outrage at the change of cast, after actor Rory Cowan left his role as Rory Brown and his replacement, Damien McKiernan, failed to impress.

Meanwhile EastEnders and period drama Call The Midwife were next, both with 6.3 million, followed by the Queen's Christmas broadcast on BBC1 (5.9 million), which was also seen by 1.9 million on ITV.

The Christmas message beat Doctor Who, which was sixth with 5.7 million.

In the top 10, ITV got a look-in at seventh place with Coronation Street, at 5.1 million, including its plus-one catch-up channel.

Charlotte Moore, director of BBC content, said: "Millions of people chose BBC1 on Christmas Day and came together to enjoy the top six most popular programmes from comedy, drama and entertainment, with Mrs Brown's Boys returning to the top spot."

Last year the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special was the most popular programme on TV on Christmas Day, with an average audience of 7.2 million watching head judge Len Goodman's final appearance on the panel.

Channel 4 said The Great British Bake off attracted the broadcaster's biggest Christmas Day overnight audience since modern records began in 2002.

It won an average audience of 3.1 million viewers and a 13.6% share of audience from 7.40pm to 9pm, peaking with 3.4 million viewers.

The previous biggest Christmas Day broadcast on Channel 4 was Home Alone in 2016 which drew three million viewers.

After Coronation Street, ITV's biggest success was fellow soap Emmerdale with 3.7 million viewers - 10th on the list of most popular shows.

TV drama Victoria attracted 2.7 million, below Paul O'Grady For The Love of Dogs At Christmas (3.4 million) and the film Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban (2.8 million).

BBC News was eighth in the top 10, with 4.2 million viewers, and The Highway Rat, also on BBC1, was ninth with four million.

Strictly Come Dancing had been 1-2 with bookmaker Coral to be the most watched but could only draw in 6.5 million, second behind Mrs Brown’s Boys which was an 8-1 outsider with the firm.

Coral spokesperson Harry Aitkenhead said: “We opened betting on what would be most watched around the start of December and more than half the bets we took were on Strictly. It’s a big shock and just goes to show how popular Mrs Brown’s Boys is."


The Top 10

Mrs Brown's Boys, BBC, 6.8million
Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special, BBC, 6.5million
EastEnders, BBC, 6.3million
Call The Midwife, BBC, 6.3million
The Queen's Christmas broadcast, BBC figures, 59million
Doctor Who, BBC, 5.7million
Coronation Street, ITV, 5.1million
BBC News, BBC, 4.2million
The Highway Rat, BBC, 4million
Emmerdale, ITV, 3.7million

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