King Charles’ Christmas broadcast was the most-watched Christmas TV address by a monarch as the BBC took a festive hit over streaming rivals. Netflix.
A record 10.6 million viewers watched Charles’ broadcast It was the most watched program on Christmas Day on BBC One, BBC Two and ITV.
Official TV ratings, which track audience levels, make it the most popular Christmas Day broadcast by a monarch in two decades of recording.
An average of 8.1 million viewers watched the broadcast BBC One, with 1.58 million tuning in on ITV and 929,000 watching on BBC Two, which also includes sign language.
Charles addressed the nation from St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, where his late mother Queen Elizabeth II’s dedication service was held three months ago, and where he delivered the Christmas message in 1999.
In the eight-minute message, Charles paid tribute to his mother and addressed the cost-of-living crisis gripping the nation, with footage of food banks and food being distributed to the poor.
Christmas Day viewing was again dominated by the BBC, with the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special the most watched show of the day, attracting an average of 5.4 million viewers.
Seven of the top 10 most-watched programs on Christmas Day were broadcast by the BBC – the other three were broadcast by ITV – as the corporation claimed Christmas Day success over streaming rivals including Netflix.
BBC One, Britain’s most popular channel, attracted more viewers on Christmas Day than the number of viewers who chose to watch the subscription video-on-demand service, the corporation said.
“At a time of great competition and choice, the BBC continues to be the UK’s entertainment destination on Christmas Day,” said Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s chief content officer.
The corporation said viewing on BBC iPlayer was up 30% over the weekend, with The King’s Speech and EastEnders proving the most popular shows on Christmas Day.
Most Watched Shows on Christmas Day
1. The King’s Christmas Broadcast, BBC One, 8.1 million
2. Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special, BBC One, 5.4 million
3. Michael McIntyre’s Christmas Wheel, BBC One, 4.8 million
4. Call the Midwife, BBC One, 4.5 million
5. Aladdin, BBC One, 4.4 million
6 Ghosts Christmas Special, BBC One, 3.9 million
7. Doc Martin, ITV, 3.3 million
8. EastEnders, BBC One, 3.2 million
9. Coronation Street, ITV, 2.8 million
10. Ant and Dec, ITV, 2.7 million