King Charles’s Christmas Address Tops Ratings Amid BBC Domination

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In a festive triumph for the BBC, King Charles’s Christmas broadcast took the crown as the most-watched program on Christmas Day, securing the top spot among the 10 most-viewed shows. The monarch’s thoughtful message, reflecting on the “increasingly tragic conflict around the world,” resonated with an average of 5.9 million viewers, according to overnight ratings.

Against the backdrop of ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and the tension between Israel and Gaza, King Charles underscored the timeless Christian principle of treating others as you wish to be treated, emphasizing the relevance of universal values in today’s complex world.

Claiming the second spot in the ratings was the perennial favorite “Strictly Come Dancing,” attracting an audience of about 5.3 million. Fans tuned in to witness EastEnders star Jamie Borthwick and professional dance partner Nancy Xu lift the Silver Star trophy during the dazzling Christmas special on BBC One.

Adding to the festive lineup, “Doctor Who” returned with its Christmas Day special after a hiatus since 2017. The show claimed the third spot with 4.7 million viewers eagerly anticipating Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa’s debut as the 15th Time Lord.

The BBC proudly announced its dominance in Christmas Day ratings, securing nine out of the top 10 most-watched shows. These figures are based on overnight ratings and exclude viewership from catch-up services.

Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s chief content officer, expressed delight at the success, stating, “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 lineup.”

Despite the success, both the King’s speech and “Strictly Come Dancing” experienced a slight dip in viewership compared to the previous year. Charles’s inaugural pre-recorded address in 2022, reflecting on the passing of the late Queen, garnered an average of 8.1 million viewers on BBC One.

Notably, last year’s broadcast set a record as the most-watched Christmas TV address by a monarch, with a staggering 10.6 million viewers across BBC One, BBC Two, and ITV. It also marked the most popular Christmas Day broadcast by a monarch in the past two decades.

Other notable shows in the Christmas Day lineup included the finale of the comedy series “Ghosts,” which follows a couple inheriting a haunted country house, and the perennial favorite “Call the Midwife,” each capturing an average of 4.4 million viewers on BBC One.

The game show “Michael McIntyre’s Christmas Wheel” rolled into sixth place with an audience of 4.2 million, leading the way for the highly anticipated resolution of a time jump on “EastEnders.”

An average of 3.6 million viewers tuned in to discover the identity of the killer and seemingly deceased character teased since February in the BBC One soap opera. Meanwhile, 3.5 million viewers enjoyed the animated spectacle of “Toy Story 4,” and “Tabby McTat” drew in 3.3 million viewers.

ITV’s overnight ratings revealed that the Lee Mack-presented game show “The 1% Club Christmas Special” emerged as its most popular program, attracting 3.4 million viewers. However, ITV’s soaps, “Coronation Street” and “Emmerdale,” fell short of making the top 10, garnering 2.6 million and 1.9 million viewers, respectively.

As the festive season concluded, the BBC celebrated a year of creative content, and the Christmas Day ratings success highlighted the enduring appeal of its diverse and engaging line up. Despite a slight dip in viewership for some programs, the BBC’s festive offerings continued to bring joy and entertainment to millions of households across the UK.

Dawn Jackson
Dawn Jackson
Journalist Dawn is an experienced business journalist specializing in regional coverage across the United Kingdom. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for uncovering stories that impact local communities, Dawn brings a unique perspective to her work. Through her insightful reporting, she keeps readers informed about the latest developments in various regions, shedding light on the economic landscape and entrepreneurial endeavours. Dawn's dedication to delivering accurate and engaging business news makes her a valuable asset to the News Write Ups team.

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