Queen's TV trailer lifts audience, but Del Boy still rules the Christmas ratings

The Queen's Christmas message reversed its downward ratings trend, attracting 600,000 more viewers this year.

Provisional figures showed that it was among the most popular shows on Christmas Day, exceeded only by a comedy show, soap operas and the news.

The death of the Queen Mother and of Princess Margaret, the golden jubilee celebrations and Paul Burrell's collapsed theft trial attracted huge public attention in 2002 and dominated headlines.

Yesterday, 9.3 million viewers watched the Queen's 10-minute broadcast – the first to have been given a trailer – in which she touched on some of the events which affected her family. Although ratings were nowhere near the 1993 pinnacle of 21 million viewers – the year after her "annus horribilis" message – they did see a reversal in fortunes. The audience was shared between the BBC and ITV1, which both broadcast the speech, with the former attracting 6.5 million viewers.

Meanwhile, Only Fools And Horses proved its enduring appeal. It was again the most popular Christmas show, attracting 16.3 million viewers.

The comedy attracted 63 per cent of viewers for the 90-minute special, screened at 9.40pm on BBC1. The final show in the series featured Del Boy and Rodney, played by David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst, heading to France to attend a memorial service in place of their uncle Albert and picking up a supposed illegal immigrant on their return.

Lorraine Heggessey, controller of the BBC, said she was pleased with the comedy'sratings. "Del Boy and Rodney are national treasures and it's no surprise that Fools And Horses remains the UK's most popular Christmas treat. The script and performances were terrific and I'm thrilled that so many people decided to tune in and find out what happened next," she said.

EastEnders, another BBC show, also performed strongly. More than 16 million viewers watched Jamie Mitchell's death in the evening, while the episode screened in the afternoon was the fourth most popular Christmas show.

ITV's Coronation Street was in third place with Emmerdale ranked sixth. An ITV spokeswoman said: "Both attracted bigger audiences than last year. It's great to see them finishing the year so strongly and there's much more for viewers to look forward to next year."

The animated comedy, Chicken Run, by the creator of Wallace and Gromit, Nick Park, attracted 9.1 million viewers for BBC1. French & Saunders and My Family– both shown on BBC1 – came ninth and tenth respectively.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: Media & Advertising Sales Executive

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This national business publishi...

Recruitment Genius: Media Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£14500 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Guru Careers: Bathroom Showroom Manager / Bathroom Sales Designer

£22 - £25k basic + Commission=OTE £35k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Bathroom Sh...

Guru Careers: Account Executive / Account Manager

£18 - 20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: An Account Executive / Account Manager is ...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea