Strictly Come Dancing triumphs in Christmas Day TV ratings battle

BBC1 claims first and second most popular programmes as more than 7.2m tune in for dance show and 6.3m watch Bake Off

After a record-breaking series during which it won the biggest audiences of its 14-year history, Strictly Come Dancing triumphed in this year’s Christmas Day TV ratings battle.

More than 7.2 million people, almost a third of the available audience, tuned in to watch the BBC1 dance show’s festive special, which was won by the Kiss FM DJ Melvin Odoom and his professional partner, Janette Manrara.

BBC1 also claimed the second most popular programme as 6.3m tuned in for the The Great Christmas Bake Off, featuring one of the final joint appearances of Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood and presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins. Only Hollywood will remain with the programme when it moves to Channel 4.

Eight of the 10 most watched programmed were on BBC One, giving the channel an overwhelming victory in the annual ratings battle. Mrs Brown’s Boys attracted 6.13m viewers, Call the Midwife 6.06m and the festive edition of Doctor Who 5.7m.

But ITV also declared itself delighted with its Christmas audiences, claiming an overall share of 18.7%, which the broadcaster said was its highest audience share on Christmas Day since 2013.

Coronation Street was the fourth most popular programme screened on Sunday, watched by 6.12m people and beating BBC1’s EastEnders, with 5.9m, into sixth place. The ITV soap’s audience, with a 27% share, was up from 5.9m last year. Emmerdale, also on ITV, had 4.72m viewers in ninth place.

The Queen’s Christmas Message, broadcast simultaneously on BB1, ITV, Sky 1 and Sky News, attracted 5.2m viewers on BBC1 and 2.9m on ITV.

The animated movie Frozen was watched by 4.66m people on BBC1, while on ITV, The Lion King attracted 3.6m viewers and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was watched by 3.1m.

Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s director of content, said: “BBC1 entertained the nation on Christmas Day with a fantastic range of high quality shows, winning eight out of the top 10 most popular programmes.”


Esther Addley

The GuardianTramp

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