Mrs Brown’s Boys and Queen’s Speech win battle for TV ratings on Christmas Day

Two broadcasts amassed total audience size of 14.4 million, with BBC One enjoying six of top 10 shows

Sherna Noah
Tuesday 26 December 2017 18:56
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The head of state used her annual festive message to comment on Grenfell tower and recent domestic terror attacks
The head of state used her annual festive message to comment on Grenfell tower and recent domestic terror attacks

The Queen and foul-mouthed matriarch Mrs Brown have scooped success on Christmas Day.

According to TV ratings, the Queen's Christmas Day message drew a combined audience of 7.6 million, across BBC One, ITV and Sky, making it the most popular programme.

But Mrs Brown's Boys was the most-watched single channel show, with 6.8 million viewers on BBC One, according to overnight figures.

It triumphed over the Strictly Come Dancing special, last year's winner, which bookies had expected to win again this year.

This year, 6.5 million tuned in for Strictly's festive episode, while in 2016 an average audience of 7.2 million watched Len Goodman's final appearance on the panel.

BBC One enjoyed six of the top 10 shows on Christmas Day, with figures expected to rise over the coming days as TV fans watch on catch-up.

Hit soap EastEnders' dramatic episode and period drama Call The Midwife were third and fourth, both with 6.3 million.

The Queen's Christmas broadcast on BBC One attracted 5.9 million, as well as 1.6 million on ITV and around 175,000 on Sky (excluding plus-one channels) to give it a combined audience of around 7.6 million.

Doctor Who - featuring Jodie Whittaker's debut as the Time Lord and Peter Capaldi's finale - was sixth with 5.7 million for BBC One.

In the top 10, ITV got a look-in at seventh place with Coronation Street, at 4.8 million, excluding plus-one.

BBC News was eighth with 4.2 million viewers, and The Highway Rat, the adaptation of the much-loved book by Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler, was ninth with four million on BBC One.

ITV's Emmerdale was 10th with 3.5 million viewers, while fellow ITV drama Victoria attracted 2.5 million.

Charlotte Moore, director of BBC content, said: "Millions of people chose BBC One 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."

Channel 4 said The Great British Bake Off festive special 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, peaking with 3.4 million, beating by a whisker the previous Channel 4 record-holder Home Alone in 2016, which drew three million viewers.

Last year the festive Bake Off on BBC One, before the show moved to Channel 4, had an average of 6.3 million viewers.

Top 10

1. Mrs Brown's Boys, BBC One, 6.8 million

2. Strictly Come Dancing, BBC One, 6.5 million

3. Call the Midwife, BBC One, 6.3 million

4. EastEnders, BBC One, 6.3 million

5. The Queen's Christmas broadcast, BBC One, 5.9 million

6. Doctor Who, BBC One, 5.7 million

7. Coronation Street, ITV, 4.8 million rising to 5.1 million with plus-one

8. BBC News, BBC One, 4.2 million

9. The Highway Rat, BBC One, 4 million

10. Emmerdale, ITV, 3.5 million rising to 3.7 million with plus-one

PA

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