Queen’s Christmas Day message tops TV ratings

The Queen pulled in an audience of 7.6 million with her televised Christmas Day message
The Queen pulled in an audience of 7.6 million with her televised Christmas Day message

The Queen’s Christmas Day message was the most popular programme on December 25.

According to TV ratings, Her Majesty’s Christmas Day message drew a combined audience of 7.6 million, across BBC1, ITV and Sky, making it the most popular programme.

But Mrs Brown’s Boys was the most-watched single channel show, with 6.8 million viewers on BBC1, according to overnight figures.

It triumphed over the Strictly Come Dancing special, last year’s winner, which bookies had expected to win again this year.

This year, 6.5 million tuned in for Strictly’s festive episode, while in 2016 an average audience of 7.2 million watched Len Goodman’s final appearance on the panel.

BBC1 enjoyed six of the top 10 shows on Christmas Day, with figures expected to rise over the coming days as TV fans watch on catch-up.

Hit soap EastEnders’ dramatic episode and period drama Call The Midwife were third and fourth, both with 6.3 million.

The Queen’s Christmas broadcast on BBC1 attracted 5.9 million, as well as 1.6 million on ITV and around 175,000 on Sky (excluding plus-one channels) to give it a combined audience of around 7.6 million.

Doctor Who – featuring Jodie Whittaker’s debut as the Time Lord and Peter Capaldi’s finale – was sixth with 5.7 million for BBC1.

In the top 10, ITV got a look-in at seventh place with Coronation Street, at 4.8 million, excluding plus-one.

BBC News was eighth with 4.2 million viewers, and The Highway Rat, the adaptation of the much-loved book by Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler, was ninth with four million on BBC1.

ITV’s Emmerdale was 10th with 3.5 million viewers.

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.”

In her televised address, the Queen paid tribute to the Manchester terrorist attack survivors, to remember those killed in the Grenfell Tower fire, and to acknowledge a future member of her family, Meghan Markle.

The Queen also reflected on milestones in her own life, from celebrating her 70th wedding anniversary in November, to the Duke of Edinburgh’s decision to step down from solo public duties.

On Christmas Day, Meghan Markle joined the Royal Family for her first Christmas church service at Sandringham. The appearance of the US actress, whose engagement to Prince Harry was announced in November, drew large crowds to St Mary Magdalene Church.