Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death was the most watched programme of 2008, according to a report.

The pair’s latest adventure, shown on BBC1 on Christmas Day, was watched by 16.2 million viewers – almost 55 per cent of the viewing public – according to a list of Top 100 shows of the year, published by Broadcast magazine.

The one-off special pulled in nearly two million more viewers than the Christmas Day episode of EastEnders, the most watched show in 2007.

Reality shows dominated the top 10 highest-rating programmes of the year, with ITV1’s The X Factor, Dancing on Ice, I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! and Britain’s Got Talent, and BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing all faring well.

But while ITV triumphed with shows like The X Factor, the report also reveals that, in 2008, the channel had a Saturday peak-time audience share of 24.9 per cent compared with 26.3 per cent for BBC1.

This was attributed to the popularity of early evening shows like Doctor Who, which came fourth in the list with 13 million viewers.

Coronation Street was the highest-rating soap in the list, coming fifth, with EastEnders at number eight.

And it looks like the credit crunch influenced people’s viewing habits with property and home shows feeling the pinch, while Antiques Roadshow – encouraging people to make the most of what they own – leapt from 79th place in last year’s table to number 11.

The list was compiled using Barb data provided by TNS Infosys, with the highest audience included for each show – this was to ensure it was not dominated by soaps and football.

The Top 20 most watched programmes of 2008 were (with viewers in millions):

1. Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death (16.15 million)

2. The X Factor Results (14.06m)

3. Britain’s Got Talent: Final (13.88m)

4. Doctor Who (13.10m)

5. Coronation Street (13.02m)

6. Strictly Come Dancing (12.97m)

7. Dancing on Ice (12.08m)

8. EastEnders (11.73m)

9. The Royle Family (10.60m)

10. I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! (10.19m)

11. Antiques Roadshow (10.11m)

12. Uefa Champions League Live (10.05m)

13. Children In Need 2008 (9.83m)

14. New Tricks (9.36m)

15. BBC News (9.34m)

16. The Apprentice (9.29m)

17. Match of the Day (9.18m)

18. Grand Prix (9.08m)

18. Lewis (8.90m)

19. Emmerdale (8.85m)


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