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The Queen's Speech and Strictly special most watched programmes on Christmas Day

melvin odoom

Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special was the most popular single broadcast on Christmas Day, although The Queen's Speech was the most watched across all channels

The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special was the most popular programme on TV on Christmas Day, with an average audience of 7.2 million and a peak of 7.6 million tuning in to watch head judge Len Goodman’s final appearance on the panel.

The biggest broadcast across all channels was the Queen's Christmas Speech, which was watched by 8.1 million as it was simulcast on BBC1 and ITV at 3.15pm.

Strictly’s festive effort – which saw radio DJ Melvin Odoom crowned the winner, a success following his early exit from the recent series – helped BBC1 become the most-watched channel of the day.

The flagship BBC programme’s Christmas Day accomplishment follows a triumphant series, which had its highest viewing figures ever with 11.1 million on average, according to consolidated data.

Strictly Come Dancing 2016 Christmas Special

Strictly Come Dancing 2016 Christmas Special (Guy Levy/BBC/PA Images)


Strictly screened at 6.45pm and its peak moment came five minutes towards the end, with those wishing to see the results switching on in larger numbers at 7.55pm.

Eight of the top 10 shows of the day were viewed on BBC1, compared to ITV’s two top 10 TV entries.

BBC1 averaged 3.1 million and a 23.9 per cent audience share across the whole day and ITV averaged 2.5 million and a 18.7 per cent share, including those watching on ITV+1.

The BBC’s other popular TV moments on December 25 included The Great Christmas Bake Off, Mrs Brown’s Boys, Call The Midwife and Doctor Who.

The Great Christmas Bake Off

The Great Christmas Bake Off (Tom Graham/Love Productions/BBC/PA Images)


The festive Bake Off, the first episode of two seasonal specials – and the last on the BBC before the show moves to Channel 4 next year – had an average of 6.3 million viewers and a peak of 7.2 million.

Comedy favourite Mrs Brown’s Boys was the third most popular broadcast of the day, being watched by an average of 6.13 million and peaking at 6.3 million at 10.55pm, towards the end of its half-hour slot.

However, ITV managed to reign supreme in the soap opera genre, as Coronation Street had more TV fans hooked than main rival EastEnders.

Doctor Who Christmas Special 2016

Doctor Who Christmas Special (Ray Burmiston/BBC /PA Images)


Coming in at number four on the list of top 10 shows, Coronation Street was viewed by 6.12 million on average, with an audience share of 26.5 per cent and a peak of 6.6 million.

EastEnders, which screened half an hour after Coronation Street concluded at 9pm, enjoyed an average of 5.9 million and a peak of 6.4 million, with a 28.1 per cent share.

Drama Call The Midwife and the hotly-anticipated Doctor Who Christmas special saw average audiences of 6.06 million and 5.7 million respectively.

ITV’s second top 10 programme was Emmerdale, coming in ninth place with an average of 4.72 million and peak of 5.2 million.

The Queen’s Christmas Broadcast screened simultaneously on BBC1 and ITV at 3pm and was watched by 5.2 million on the BBC and 2.9 million on ITV.


Despite the overall success of the BBC, ITV’s audience share of 18.7 per cent is up from 16.2 per cent in 2015, and marks the channel’s highest share on Christmas Day since 2013.

Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content, said: “BBC One entertained the nation on Christmas Day with a fantastic range of high quality shows, winning eight out of the top 10 most popular programmes. Strictly Come Dancing took the top spot this year following a record-breaking series.”

TV audience analysis: BARB