King’s address and Strictly Come Dancing lead Christmas TV ratings

Other top BBC One shows included Doctor Who, which had its first Christmas Day special since 2017.

King’s festive address and Strictly Come Dancing lead Christmas TV ratings ITN

The King’s Christmas Day message to the nation and Strictly Come Dancing have led the festive TV ratings battle.

An average of 5.9 million viewers watched on BBC One as Charles reflected on the “increasingly tragic conflict around the world”, according to overnight ratings.

Amid the war in Ukraine and the conflict between Israel and Gaza, he also suggested one of the central tenets of Christianity – treating all like you want to be treated – was more apt than ever and emphasised universal values.

Last year, Charles’s first pre-recorded address, which reflected on the death of the late Queen, had an average of 8.1 million viewers on BBC One, according to the broadcaster.

READ MORE: King Charles urges ‘care and compassion’ in annual Christmas address

This year, he drew a similar viewership to Strictly, which came second in the ratings on Christmas Day.

Around 5.3 million viewers watched EastEnders star Jamie Borthwick and professional dance partner Nancy Xu lift the Silver Star trophy during the Christmas special on BBC One.

Last year, an average audience of 5.4 million viewers saw actress Alexandra Mardell and professional partner Kai Widdrington crowned the winners.

The BBC “dominated the ratings with nine out of the top 10 most watched shows on Christmas Day”, the broadcaster said.

BBC Media Centre

READ MORE: Winner of Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special revealed

Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s chief content officer said: “Bringing people together at Christmas matters to audiences and securing nine of the top 10 shows demonstrates how much they value the BBC’s Christmas Day line-up.

“We entertained viewers in their millions on Christmas Day with a range of quality programmes you really can’t find anywhere else to wrap up an outstanding year of creative content on the BBC.”

Other top BBC One shows included Doctor Who, which had its first Christmas Day special since 2017.

The episode, which saw Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa make his first full appearance as the 15th Time Lord, came third in the ratings with 4.7 million viewers.

The finale of comedy series Ghosts, which follows a young couple who inherit an abandoned country house inhabited by a group of spirits, and Christmas staple Call The Midwife each had an average of 4.4 million viewers on BBC One.

Game show Michael McIntyre’s Christmas Wheel had an audience of 4.2 million and came sixth ahead of the long-awaited conclusion of a time jump on EastEnders.

An average of 3.6 million viewers for the BBC One soap found out who was the killer and seemingly deceased character who was teased back in February.

On Monday’s episode, Keanu Taylor (Danny Walters) appeared to die after being stabbed by Linda Carter (Kellie Bright), who was trying to protect Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean).

An average of 3.5 million viewers watched Toy Story 4 on BBC One and Tabby McTat was viewed by 3.3 million.

ITV overnight ratings showed Lee Mack-presented game show The 1% Club Christmas Special as its most popular programme with 3.4 million viewers.

Last year, the channel’s most popular programme in the ratings was Doc Martin, followed by soap Coronation Street, which drew in an average of 2.8 million viewers.

In 2021 Corrie secured 3.25 million viewers, but this year the British soap, set in the fictional town of Weatherfield in Greater Manchester, did not make it into the top 10.

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