King Charles’ first ever Christmas message has broken TV viewing records, becoming the most watched Christmas speech by a monarch since official records began two decades ago.
The King’s speech was also the most popular Christmas TV programme on Christmas Day, with a combined audience of over 10 million viewers.
It was almost double as popular as the next most popular Christmas Day TV show, Strictly Come Dancing’s Christmas Special, which was watched by 5.4 million viewers.
In King Charles’ first speech as King, he reflected on the cost of living crisis, including those using food banks, and paid tribute to his mother, the late Queen, who died in September.
The King appeared natural in the first of what will become his annual addresses to the nation. His mother made an annual TV address every year from 1957, except for one year in 1969 when a royal family documentary aired in place of the Christmas message. Before television the Queen had made her Christmas delivery via radio.
8.1 million viewers watched the broadcast on BBC One, 1.5 million on ITV and 929,000 watched on BBC Two.
The third most popular Christmas TV show was a festive edition of Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel which drew 4.8 million viewers and fourth was Call The Midwife, with 4.4 million.
It had been a good day for the BBC in terms of ratings. The highest-viewed non-BBC Christmas show was Doc Martin’s Christmas special on ITV which attracted 3.3 million viewers. Doc Martin took seventh place, meaning the six most watched shows were all BBC.
Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas Special drew in just 2.5 million in a continuing trend downward for the divisive show which was once the most watched show on Christmas Day.
Charlotte Moore, BBC’s Chief Content Officer commented on the ratings. She said: “Winning the Christmas Day ratings caps off an incredible centenary year of world class content on the BBC.
“In a time of so much competition and choice, the BBC continues to be the UK’s entertainment destination on Christmas Day.”
|1||The King’s Christmas Broadcast||BBC One||8.1|
|2||Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special||BBC One||5.4|
|3||Michael McIntyre’s Christmas Wheel||BBC One||4.8|
|4||Call the Midwife||BBC One||4.5|
|6||Ghosts Christmas Special||BBC One||3.9|
|10||Ant and Dec||ITV||2.7|
The figures also mean that the BBC won the ratings battle over streaming platforms including Netflix.
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