Coronation Street drops out of Christmas TV top 10

ITV’s Coronation Street missed out on the top 10 most watched TV programmes of Christmas Day, in what proved to be a mixed day for the soaps.

Emmerdale also failed to make the top 10, but EastEnders enjoyed its biggest festive audience in four years with a much-trailed murder storyline.

The most-viewed show was the King’s Christmas message, which recorded 7.48 million viewers across six channels.

The exception was ITV’s big-money game show The 1% Club, presented by Lee Mack, which ITV opted to run in its prime-time 9pm viewing slot this year, and it came in ninth on the list.

By contrast, Coronation Street and Emmerdale each screened half-hour episodes, rather than the hour-long specials of recent years, and were scheduled earlier in the evening. Special editions of the big soap operas have been a fixture of Christmas TV listings for decades – but they have been attracting dwindling audiences in recent years.

About 2.6 million watched Coronation Street at 7pm on ITV1, down from nearly eight million a decade ago and 2.8 million last year.

All figures are based on “overnight” TV ratings – which do not include viewers who watch Christmas specials on catch-up services during the rest of the festive period.

Coronation Street’s plotline revolves around the departure of long-time character Peter Barlow, played by Chris Gascoyne.

It is the first time in several decades that the soap has failed to feature in the Christmas Day TV top 10. Emmerdale dropped out for a second year in a row, attracting 1.92 million viewers.

Strictly Come Dancing
Image caption,

Strictly Come Dancing was the most-watched Christmas Day programme, excluding the King’s message

Almost 3.6 million watched EastEnders on BBC One at 9.45pm to see the climax of a murder plotline that has been running since early 2023 unveiled in a special late evening episode.

Doctor Who fans watched the sci-fi series’ first Christmas special since 2017 in large numbers, while the final ever episode of comedy series Ghosts also proved a hit.

The monarch’s Christmas broadcast was once again the most-viewed programme of the day, attracting almost 7.5 million viewers across several channels.

But the second message festive broadcast of the King’s reign attracted around 600,000 fewer viewers than in 2022.

Top 10 most watched Christmas Day TV shows

  1. The King’s Christmas Message – 5.89 (BBC One) + 0.58m (BBC Two) + 0.72 (ITV, incl +1) + 0.10 (ITV3) + 0.10 (Sky News) + 0.09 (GB News) – 7.48m
  2. Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special (BBC One) – 5.29m
  3. Doctor Who (BBC One) – 4.73m
  4. Ghosts Christmas Special (BBC One) – 4.43m
  5. Call The Midwife (BBC One) – 4.39m
  6. Michael McIntyre’s Christmas Wheel (BBC One) – 4.17m
  7. EastEnders (BBC One) – 3.58m
  8. Toy Story 4 (BBC One) – 3.46m
  9. The 1% Club (ITV1) – 3.36m
  10. Tabby McTat (BBC One) – 3.35m

Source: BARB overnight figures

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