Call the Midwife was Christmas Day's most popular TV show, according to consolidated TV ratings (which also take into account catch-up viewings seven days after the live broadcast)

Call the Midwife won the Christmas Day ratings battle, with more than nine million people tuning in to the BBC1 drama, but it was lowest Christmas Day No.1 show since records began in 1981.

The channel broadcast eight out of the top 10 programmes on Christmas Day, consolidated ratings show.

Some 9.2 million tuned in to watch the nuns and nurses of Nonnatus House travel to South Africa to try to prevent a hospital from closing down.

Coco Van Oppens/Neal Street Productions/BBC)
(Coco Van Oppens/Neal Street Productions/BBC)


Heidi Thomas, creator and writer of the show, said: “We are always so proud to be part of BBC1’s Christmas Day schedule, and absolutely delighted that so many people joined us on this year’s journey to South Africa.

“At this special time of year it really feels as though the cast, crew and audience of Call The Midwife are one big family, and we can’t wait to share series six with everyone.”

The new series of Call the Midwife returns to BBC1 later in January.

Coco Van Oppens/Neal Street/BBC)
(Coco Van Oppens/Neal Street/BBC)


The Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas special came a close second in the consolidated ratings, with 8.98 million tuning in, and 8.94 million people watched Len Goodman’s farewell on the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special, while 8.21 million watched The Great Christmas Bake Off.

Coronation Street, ITV’s flagship soap, drew 8.1 million viewers and Emmerdale recorded 6.2 million.

The other broadcasts in the top 10 were Doctor Who, EastEnders, The Queen’s Christmas Message and the Disney film Frozen.

Doctor Who Christmas Special 2016
Doctor Who (Ray Burmiston/BBC /PA Images)


However, the Christmas Day 2016 ratings are the lowest since the modern ratings system began in 1981, failing to match the 10.9 million drawn to the final episode of Downton Abbey last year or the 16.2 million that watched Wallace And Gromit: A Matter Of Loaf And Death in 2008.