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EastEnders is most-watched New Year’s Day show, with 8.5 million viewers

EastEnders’ spectacular car crash in the January 1 episode, which may still kill Ronnie Mitchell (Samantha Womack) or Emma Summerhayes (Anna Acton), drew an audience of 8.53 million for BBC1 on New Year’s Day.

It was a good night for the BBC, with the comedy Mrs Brown’s Boys being watched by nearly eight million, while the final episode of the sitcom Miranda attracted 7.27 million viewers. BBC’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot, starring Dame Judi Dench and Dustin Hoffman, drew 6.47 million viewers.

Emmerdale was ITV’s biggest scorer with viewers, attracting 5.76 million but it was bad news for Birds of a Feather, which scored its lowest audience since it returned in 2014, with 3.68 million watching.