The Tourist, Death in Paradise and Call The Midwife drew audiences to BBC TV during the Christmas and New Year fortnight, as the public broadcaster reveals what the nation was watching over the holidays.
Each year there’s a passionate debate over the quality of Christmas TV. While seasonal stalwarts Call the Midwife and the Strictly Christmas special still attracted millions of viewers, former ratings hit Mrs Brown’s Boys were nowhere to be seen in the top 20 BBC programmes, continuing its decline in popularity.
The New Year fireworks at midnight was BBC TV’s most watched moment of the festive fortnight, followed by episode one of The Tourist, starring Jamie Dornan (above), which launched on BBC One and iPlayer at 9pm on New Year’s Day.
Boxing Day hits
The first ever Christmas special for Death in Paradise on Boxing Day enjoyed an average audience of 8 million. Around the World in 80 Days and A Very British Scandal, also launched on Boxing Day, scored highly. The annual Doctor Who special on New Year’s Day only just secured the 20th slot in the top 20.
EastEnders was the most streamed ‘brand’ on the iPlayer with episodes of the soap streamed 15.9 million times between 21st December 2021 and 3rd January 2022. However, the Christmas Day episode only reached number 16 in the top 20 with just 4.7 million viewers.
Audience data is based on live and on-demand viewing within the first seven days. As the BBC’s seasonal shows are still on iPlayer, a fuller set of on-demand viewing figures covering +30 day figures as well as all episodes of series that started over Christmas and New Year won’t be available until February.
Charlotte Moore, BBC’s Chief Content Officer says:
“2022 on the BBC has started with a bang with record viewing across Christmas and New Year on BBC iPlayer. Millions of people chose to watch our unrivalled range of box-sets and Christmas specials live on our channels, or binge on-demand across the festive season – paving the way for the BBC’s centenary, a landmark year that will look forward and celebrate British creativity across the whole of the UK.”
BBC top 20
21/12/2021-3/1/2022. Live and on-demand (up to seven days after original broadcast)
Where there are multiple episodes of a programme, only the episode with the highest rating is shown.
|1||Happy New Year Live!||10.5m|
|2||The Tourist – Episode 1||8.9m|
|3||The Queen’s Christmas Broadcast – 2021||8.3m|
|4||Death In Paradise – Christmas Special||8m|
|5||Call The Midwife – Christmas Special 2021||7.9m|
|6||Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special – Series 19 – Christmas Special||7.4m|
|7||A Very British Scandal – Episode 1||7.1m|
|8||Around The World In 80 Days (2021) – Episode 1||6m|
|9||BBC News at Six O’clock – 20/12/2021||5.7m|
|10||Michael Mcintyre’s Christmas Wheel – Series 2 – Christmas Special||5.5m|
|12||Blankety Blank – Series 1 – Christmas Special||5m|
|14||The Repair Shop At Christmas 2021||4.9m|
|15||BBC News – 29/12/2021||4.9m|
|16||EastEnders – 25/12/2021||4.7m|
|17||The Weakest Link – Episode 4||4.5m|
|18||Shaun The Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas||4.5m|
|19||Ghosts – He Came!||4.5m|
|20||Doctor Who – Eve Of The Daleks||4.4m|