Strictly Come Dancing leads entertainment in UK Christmas ratings

BBC shows dominated British viewing over the festive period.

Christmas ratings are a big deal in the UK, where viewing is a tradition

The Queen’s Christmas Broadcast has topped ratings over the festive period at 7.4 million viewers.

The speech aired on BBC One, ITV and Sky News.

A Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special was next best at 5.8 million viewers.

BBC One had eight of the top 10 programmes on Christmas Day. ITV took eighth and ninth place with festive episodes of Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

1. The Queen’s Christmas Broadcast – 7.4 million
2. Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special – 5.8 million
3. Call the Midwife – 4.7 million
4. Michael McIntyre’s Christmas Wheel – 4.6 million
5. Blankety Blank Christmas Special – 4.2 million
6. Mary Poppins Returns – 3.7 million
7. Superworm – 3.34 million
8. Coronation Street – 3.25 million
9. Emmerdale – 3 million
10. EastEnders – 2.9 million

Charlotte Moore, BBC’s Chief Content Officer said: “Viewers chose the BBC on Christmas Day and entertained them in their millions with Strictly taking the top spot. Nothing brings the country together at Christmas quite like the BBC, there was something for everyone with the seven most popular programmes across the day that caps off a brilliant year on the BBC celebrating British creativity where we have delivered hits and award-winning work and seen huge audiences come to our shows.

“It’s these moments, in a time of intense competition, that prove that after 99 years the BBC matters more than ever. We have an ambitious and exciting year ahead in 2022 to mark our centenary year with an unmissable range of world class content that will celebrate and reflect the unique role the BBC continues to play in the lives of audiences across the UK.”

7 Responses

  1. It’s fascinating — and telling — to see how UK Christmas Day ratings continue to fall year on year. They used to be the jewel in the crown of any given year, and even something of a panacea for any ratings woes during the year, but it seems not so much anymore. Overnights are generally down across the board at all other times of the year, but they nevertheless continue to feed into constant predictions of impending doom and cancelation for shows like Doctor Who, despite similar decreases being experienced by almost every program and genre. I bet nobody’s going to cite Eastenders’ paltry 2.9m or Corrie’s disastrous 3.25m as signalling their inevitable end!

        1. Always fascinating to see the UK Christmas figures – there has definitely been a drop in viewers in the last few years.

          The time was that the UK soaps like Eastenders and Coronation Street could get close to 20 million viewers for their special episodes, now they are down around 3 million. All this and the BBC have spent about $150,000,000.00 (Australian) on a new outdoor set for Eastenders. They must believe it will continue in the longer term.

    1. It’s interesting but no surprise without the big comedy special hook. For all the complaints though of the repetitive nature of the BBC’s offering compared to Netflix it was a room full of presents versus a lump of coal. They offered very little remotely “special” this year – the best *and practically only) things was the (excellent) Jimmy Carr special which 5 years ago you’d have got on DVD and probably got round to watching in February.

  2. It is a shame Australians do not see the original UK TV Christmas fare . Our ABC does repeats of 2019,20 shows. Although BBC You Tube gives a sense of the XMAS cheer. Not forgetting BBC do the religious theme very well .They pay due respect to the origins .

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