Strictly Come Dancing’s Christmas special proved a ratings hit, claiming the most viewers outside of the Queen’s festive message.
The Strictly special, which was won by pop star Anne-Marie, was watched by an average of 5.8 million viewers, according to overnight figures from the BBC.
The 30-year-old singer and her professional dance partner Graziano Di Prima were victorious after performing a thrilling cha cha, which earned them a perfect score of 40 from the judges.
🎉 Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special wins Christmas Day ratings in 2021🎄📺 It was the most watched show on Christmas Day with 5.8 million viewers (excluding The Queen’s Christmas broadcast).Read more ➡️ https://t.co/byvksxBi5w pic.twitter.com/8pkg1KL5sK
— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) December 26, 2021
BBC One secured eight of the top 10 programmes on Christmas Day – with ITV taking eighth and ninth place with episodes of Coronation Street and Emmerdale.
The Queen’s Christmas broadcast, which was around 10 minutes long and saw her reflect on the death of her husband the Duke of Edinburgh and the continuing impact of the coronavirus pandemic, was watched by 7.4 million viewers on the BBC.
Third place went to Call The Midwife with 4.7 million viewers, Michael McIntyre’s Christmas Wheel secured 4.6 million and was fourth, while Blankety Blank took fifth with 4.2 million.
Sixth place was taken by Mary Poppins Returns, the 2018 sequel to the well-loved 1964 film, with 3.7 million viewers, while animated production Superworm was in seventh with 3.34 million.
On ITV, Coronation Street secured 3.25 million viewers and Emmerdale was watched by 3 million.
In 10th place, the festive EastEnders special had an audience of 2.9 million.
BBC One sitcom Mrs Brown’s Boys, which usually secures high audience numbers, did not feature in the top 10.
Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s chief content officer, said: “Viewers chose the BBC on Christmas Day and entertained them in their millions, with Strictly taking the top spot.
“Nothing brings the country together at Christmas quite like the BBC, there was something for everyone with the seven most popular programmes across the day that caps off a brilliant year on the BBC, celebrating British creativity where we have delivered hits and award winning work and seen huge audiences come to our shows.
“It’s these moments, in a time of intense competition, that prove that after 99 years the BBC matters more than ever.
“We have an ambitious and exciting year ahead in 2022 to mark our centenary year with an unmissable range of world class content that will celebrate and reflect the unique role the BBC continues to play in the lives of audiences across the UK.”