The Queen's Christmas message and Strictly Come Dancing top Christmas Day ratings

Strictly Come Dancing Christmas 2021 Celebrities and Professional Dancers - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
Strictly Come Dancing Christmas 2021 Celebrities and Professional Dancers - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy

The Queen’s Christmas message and Strictly Come Dancing scored the biggest TV audiences on Christmas Day.

An audience of 7.4 million viewers watched The Queen’s Christmas Broadcast on Saturday at 3PM, the most watched programme on TV.

Strictly Come Dancing ranked in second spot with 5.8 million viewers for its Christmas special, returning after a year out last year due to the pandemic.

BBC One dominated the overnight ratings – which don’t take into account those watching online or on catch up – with Call The Midwife and Christmas specials of Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel and Blankety Blank also making the Top 10.

The TV premiere of Mary Poppins Returns was the day’s biggest movie, with 3.7 million viewers, while animation Superworm had 3.3 million in the early afternoon.

The soaps complete the rankings, with Coronation Street and Emmerdale leading the way over EastEnders.

2021’s Most Watched Christmas Shows

The full list of the biggest Christmas Day audiences for 2021 are as follows (data from BBC):

1. The Queen’s Christmas Broadcast (BBC One) – 7.4 million
2. Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special – 5.8 million
3. Call the Midwife (BBC One) – 4.7 million
4. Michael McIntyre’s Christmas Wheel (BBC One) – 4.6 million
5. Blankety Blank Christmas Special (BBC One) – 4.2 million

6. Mary Poppins Returns (BBC One) – 3.7 million
7. Superworm (BBC One) – 3.34 million
8. Coronation Street (ITV) – 3.25 million
9. Emmerdale (ITV) – 3 million
10. EastEnders (BBC One) – 2.9 million

Charlotte Moore, 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.”

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