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Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special is BBC's biggest ever TV show outside of sports

Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special 2019

The Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special has become the biggest BBC TV programme outside of sports.

The one-off episode which aired on Christmas Day has been watched by a total audience of 18.5 million to date.

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It's the BBC's biggest programme outside of sporting events since current TV ratings records began in 2002.

Only the 2012 Olympics opening and closing ceremonies and England's World Cup matches have got more viewers tuning in.

Fans of Gavin and Stacey have demanded a fourth series after the Christmas special ended on a cliff hanger as Ruth Jones' Nessa character proposed to Smithy, played by James Corden.

It left viewers flocking to social media to beg for more.

Writers and stars of the show James Corden and Ruth Jones have hinted that fans could well get their wish.

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They said: today “It’s mind blowing that so many people watched our show - we still can’t get our heads round it, what a massive compliment.

"We are indebted to the BBC for their incredible support but most importantly to those 18.5 million viewers for watching. We just hope one day we can let them know what Smithy said next...”

Meanwhile, Charlotte Moore, Director BBC Content, added: “These incredible viewing figures demonstrate the power of British comedy and the love for Gavin and Stacey.

"I want to thank James and Ruth for this gem and like everyone I’m longing to find out what happens next!”

Shane Allen, Controller Comedy Commissioning, commented: “I’m delighted for Ruth and James that their terrific comic creation is more adored than ever.

"BBC One really does bring the nation together, and these figures are testament to iPlayer’s role in bringing our hit shows to new generations of fans.”

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You can watch Gavin and Stacey's Christmas special online now via BBC iPlayer.

The entire series is also available to purchase on DVD online here.