BBC dominates Christmas Day TV ratings war – but which programme was the most watched?

The BBC dominated (Image credit: BBC)

We reveal the top ten most watched shows on Christmas Day 2017...

The Christmas Day TV ratings are always hotly-contested, and this year the BBC have triumphed.

Mrs Brown’s Boys gave the Beeb the top rated show on a single channel on Christmas Day with 6.8 million viewers.

Mrs Brown Brown's Boys Christmas special

(Image credit: BBC Studios/Alan Peebles)

BBC1 took the six most popular shows of the day, with the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special coming second with 6.5 million viewers.

Hit soap EastEnders and period drama Call The Midwife were next, both with 6.3 million, followed by the Queen’s Christmas broadcast on BBC1 (5.9 million), which was also seen by 1.9 million on ITV.

The Christmas message beat Doctor Who, which was sixth with 5.7 million.

Charlotte Moore, director of BBC content, said: “Millions of people chose BBC1 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.”

Call The Midwife 2017 Christmas special - when is the Call the Midwife Christmas Day

(Image credit: BBC/Neal Street Productions/Nick)

ITV got a look-in at seventh place with Coronation Street, at 5.1 million, including its plus-one catch-up channel.

After Coronation Street, ITV’s biggest success was fellow soap Emmerdale with 3.7 million viewers – 10th on the list of most popular shows.

TV drama Victoria attracted 2.7 million, below Paul O’Grady For The Love of Dogs At Christmas (3.4 million) and the film Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban (2.8 million).

BBC News was eighth in the top 10, with 4.2 million viewers, and The Highway Rat, also on BBC1, was ninth with four million.

Meanwhile, The Queen’s Christmas message attracted 7.8 million viewers over BBC1, ITV and ITV’s catch-up plus-one channel, and was also broadcast on Sky.

The Queen's Christmas message 2017

(Image credit:


Elsewhere, Channel 4 said The Great British Bake off 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 and a 13.6% share of audience from 7.40pm to 9pm, peaking with 3.4 million viewers.

The previous biggest Christmas Day broadcast on Channel 4 was Home Alone in 2016 which drew three million viewers.

Last year the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special was the most popular programme on TV on Christmas Day, with an average audience of 7.2 million watching head judge Len Goodman’s final appearance on the panel.


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