Christmas TV: Downton Abbey to go head to head with Mrs Brown's Boys and EastEnders

This year's ratings war will see many of the TV blockbusters fight for viewers

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This year’s Christmas TV ratings war will see Downton Abbey and Mrs Brown’s Boys fight it out for the title of most-watched festive special.

The ITV period drama will air at 9pm while Brendan O’Carroll’s comedy goes up against its second half at 10pm on BBC1.  Popular soap EastEnders clashes with the first half of Downton.


Fans of Doctor Who will need to tune in to BBC1 at 6.15pm for a much earlier screening than last year.

Elsewhere in the evening, Miranda’s two-part final ever episode rivals Emmerdale while Coronation Street goes up against Call the Midwife from 8pm.

Last year, Mrs Brown’s Boys won the Christmas battle after starting at 9.30pm and pulling in 9.4 million viewers – a million more than Doctor Who and the soaps.

In comparison, EastEnders drew 7.8 million viewers while Downton attracted 7 million in the overnight ratings.

Christmas Day TV schedule


5pm – Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special

6.15pm – Doctor Who

7.15pm – Miranda

7.50pm – Call the Midwife

9pm – EastEnders

10pm – Mrs Brown’s Boys


5.20pm – You’ve Been Framed Christmas Special

5.50pm – Paul O’Grady – For The Love of Dogs

6.50pm – News

7pm – Emmerdale

8pm – Coronation Street

9pm – Downton Abbey