Little Britain comics keep BBC flying high in Christmas ratings

The BBC was yesterday claiming victory in the Christmas Day TV viewing battle with eight of the top ten most-watched shows.

BBC1's big-hitters included Doctor Who, with more than 11 million tuning in to see the reworking of seasonal favourite A Christmas Carol, as the channel took all of the top five shows.

The best-viewed show of the day proved to be an hour-long edition of EastEnders with an average of 11.4 million who tuned in to see Stacey Branning exit Albert Square after first scrapping with Janine Malloy (Charlie Brooks).

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One of the BBC's biggest successes was the debut of Little Britain stars Matt Lucas and David Walliams's new show Come Fly With Me, which was the second highest rated show of the day.

The comedy – filmed at Doncaster's Robin Hood Airport – had an average of 10.3 million viewers and has nudged its way into the top 10 shows of the year at number 10.

It was up against ITV1's big two-hour drama Poirot which landed 4.2 million viewers.

BBC1 usually tends to dominate the TV remote control on Christmas Day, but ITV1 had the upper hand on Christmas Eve with a higher share of peak-time viewing and a 10.6 million audience for its edition of Coronation Street – its biggest Christmas episode since 2007.

There was some good news for ITV1 yesterday too as the channel increased its share of viewers slightly compared to 2009. However, it achieved only two spots in the top 10, with Coronation Street leading the fight at number six with nine million viewers.

Doctor Who drew an average of 10.3 million viewers – with 11.5 million tuning in at its peak - down slightly by 100,000 viewers on last year, and the lowest audience for a Christmas Day edition since 2006.

The Strictly Come Dancing seasonal special proved to be a much bigger draw than the previous year as viewers tuned in to see stars including Business Secretary Vince Cable go through their paces on the dance floor, just days after he was stripped of some of his powers. The show pulled in an average of 9.4 million, up on 2009's 6.8 million.