CHRISTMAS DAY television produced an unlikely ratings battle between Mrs Brown’s Boys and Mrs Windsor’s message, with millions of viewers tuning into both programmes.
The hit BBC comedy, the creation of Irish actor Brendan O’Carroll, pulled in an average audience of 7.6 million to BBC One.
An audience of 5.7m tuned in to see the Queen’s message on the BBC, with another 2.1 million watching on ITV – giving a combined figure of 7.8 million.
The BBC dominated the day, with big hitters including EastEnders with 7.55 million tuning in to see the day unfold with its customary drama in Albert Square while seven million watched Strictly Come Dancing.
There was good news for Miranda Hart with her sitcom pulling in 6.7 million while Call The Midwife, which she also stars in, did even better with an audience of 6.8 million.
ITV’s best-performing show was Coronation Street, which attracted an audience of 6.6 million.
The Doctor Who Christmas special was watched by 6.3 million and 5.8 million tuned in to Downton Abbey.
BBC One controller Charlotte Moore said: “It’s fantastic to see millions of viewers choosing BBC One with the top five most popular shows on Christmas Day.
“Audiences tuned in for an incredible range of quality programmes from drama, comedy and entertainment.”
It is the second year running that Mrs Brown’s Boys has pulled in the single biggest audience, with bookmakers offering even money it will repeat the feat next year.
William Hill’s Rupert Adams said:”We have once again underestimated the popularity of Mrs Brown’s Boys – it must be a guilty pleasure as nobody in our office admits to watching it.”