EastEnders wins Christmas TV battle; Downton third

EastEnders has won the Christmas Day TV ratings battle for the third year running, with Downton Abbey peaking at just over 9m viewers, according to overnight figures.

The BBC reports that, at its peak, EastEnders had 10.2 million viewers while ITV’s Coronation Street got 9.9 million. The shows averaged 9.9m and 9.3 million respectively.

In a strong showing for ITV, the Downton Abbey Christmas special was the third most-watched at its peak, with BBC One’s Doctor Who in fourth.

The Queen’s Speech, broadcast on both BBC and ITV, was viewed by 8.2 million.

In terms of average audience, Downton Abbey and Doctor Who reversed their positions, with the BBC One show attracting 8.9m and the ITV period drama averaging 8.6m over its two-hour special, which didn’t end until after 11pm.

Other most-watched shows, based on 15-minute peaks, were BBC hit Strictly Come Dancing in sixth place, followed by a revival of 1990s hit Absolutely Fabulous.

ITV’s Emmerdale had 7.1 million viewers at its peak, putting it in eighth place, followed by another ITV show, All Star Family Fortunes.