The Queen’s touching tribute to Duke of Edinburgh tops Christmas Day TV ratings

The Queen’s moving Christmas message about the Duke of Edinburgh drew in nearly a million more viewers than last year, making it the most-watched show of Christmas Day.

The broadcast was watched by an audience of 8.96 million across BBC One, ITV and Sky News, compared to 8.14 million last year.

The Queen used the 10-minute message – her first since the Duke died – to pay a heartfelt tribute to her “beloved Philip”, telling the nation she understood why “Christmas can be hard for those who have lost loved ones”.

She said: “As much as I and my family miss him, I know he would want us to enjoy Christmas.”

BBC One programmes dominated the Christmas Day ratings list, with the festive edition of Strictly Come Dancing the second most popular show of the day, with an average of 5.78 million viewers.

Jay Blades and dance partner Luba Mushtuk strut their stuff on the Christmas edition of Strictly Come Dancing

A further six programmes from the channel were among the top 10 most watched of the day.

Third place went to Call The Midwife with 4.7 million viewers, Michael McIntyre’s Christmas Wheel secured 4.6 million and was fourth, while Blankety Blank took fifth with 4.2 million.

The battle of the soap operas, however, was won by Coronation Street on ITV – watched by 3.25 million viewers, ahead of Emmerdale, with three million viewers, and EastEnders, with 2.9 million viewers.

Mrs Brown’s Boys, the BBC One sitcom that has often won high audience numbers, did not feature in the top 10.

Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s chief content officer, said: “Viewers chose the BBC on Christmas Day and entertained them in their millions.

“It’s these moments, in a time of intense competition, that prove that after 99 years the BBC matters more than ever.”

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