British drama dominates Christmas Day viewing
Friday 21 December 2012
Christmas Day television is now dominated by home-grown drama rather than the light entertainment shows that filled schedules 20 years ago, according to a survey of the changing face of festive viewing.
But more repeats and fewer films are shown now than 20 years ago, said Radio Times which examined BBC One's Christmas Day schedules from 1952, 1972, 1992 and 2012.
Home-grown dramas such as Call The Midwife and Doctor Who account for 13.5% of this year's Christmas Day programming, up from 7.5% in 1992. No drama was shown at all on the day in 1972 or 1952.
But light entertainment, which ruled the roost on Christmas Day TV in 1952 (25%) and 1972 (55%), has fallen to just 9% this year.
Repeats have increased 14% since 1992, the survey found.
In 1952 only one film was broadcast on Christmas Day, compared with the three being shown this year.
Among the big hitters lined up to entertain the nation on Christmas Day 1972 were Dick Emery, Morecambe And Wise and The Two Ronnies.
But some things never change. The Queen's Speech has been a fixture of Christmas Day schedules since 1957 and Bruce Forsyth and the Top Of The Pops Christmas Special both featured in 1972 and 1992, as well as this year.
Radio Times television editor Alison Graham said: "It's a delight to know that TV drama is flourishing and is right at the heart of families' Christmas celebrations.
"After decades of films, light entertainment and comedies uniting everyone around their tellies, times have changed and there's a new tradition, one we should all encourage, of home-grown, quality drama bringing us all together."
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