Downton Abbey gives ITV fillip as BBC dominate festive ratings

Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey. Picture: ITV
Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey. Picture: ITV
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Blockbuster dramas including Sherlock and War And Peace helped the BBC achieve a near-clean sweep of the festive ratings.

Nine of the 10 most-watched programmes over Christmas and the New Year were broadcast by BBC One, new figures show.

The one exception was ITV’s Downton Abbey, transmitted on Christmas Day.

Sherlock topped the chart with the one-off special on New Year’s Day attracting 11.64 million viewers.

Over a quarter of this total were people who watched the show in the week after its transmission using catch-up services.

BBC One’s coverage of the New Year’s Eve fireworks came second with 11.48 million.

Downton Abbey was third, followed by Mrs Brown’s Boys and the New Year’s Day episode of EastEnders.

The figures, published by Barb, will be a boost for the BBC after the corporation lost the Christmas Day ratings battle to ITV.

They show that newly-commissioned dramas And Then There Were None and War And Peace proved just as popular with the public as long-running favourites such as Strictly Come Dancing.

EastEnders fared much better on New Year’s Day (9.40 million) than on Christmas Day (7.67 million), while just half of the top 10 were transmitted on December 25.

Here is the top 10 in full:

1. Sherlock (New Year’s Day, BBC One) 11.64 million

2. New Year’s Eve Fireworks (New Year’s Eve, BBC One) 11.48 million

3. Downton Abbey (Christmas Day, ITV) 10.92 million

4. Mrs Brown’s Boys (Christmas Day, BBC One) 9.49 million

5. EastEnders (8pm, New Year’s Day, BBC One) 9.40 million

6. Call The Midwife (Christmas Day, BBC One) 9.30 million

7. Stick Man (Christmas Day, BBC One) 9.28 million

8. And Then There Were None (Boxing Day, BBC One) 8.61 million

9. Strictly Come Dancing (Christmas Day, BBC One) 8.54 million

10. War And Peace (January 3, BBC One) 8.41 million