LONDON — A special Christmas edition of “Doctor Who,” featuring a guest appearance from Kylie Minogue, cemented a strong festive perf for the BBC’s flagship channel, BBC1.
Nine of the 10 most popular shows on Xmas Day in the U.K. were screened by BBC1.
In pole position was the pubcaster’s blue collar soap “EastEnders,” peaking at 13.9 million viewers, according to provisional figures.
“Doctor Who” was second by a whisker on 13.8 million, while the return of the somewhat dog-eared sitcom “To the Manor Born” was in joint fourth place with 10.1 million viewers.
The only program from rival channel ITV 1 to make it into the top 10 was banker soap “Coronation Street,” watched by 9.6 million.
“Coronation Street” was beaten by a special edition of “Strictly Come Dancing” — shown in the U.S. as “Dancing With the Stars” — which won an audience of 9.9 million.
In the era of DVDs and downloads, TV transmissions of movies no longer generate huge viewing figures but BBC film buyers will be happy that “Finding Nemo” managed to scrape into the top 10 — in ninth place with 8.3 million viewers.
Acting BBC1 controller Roly Keating said, “It’s heartening to see that the great tradition of Christmas family viewing seems to be alive and well.”