Gavin and Stacey top Christmas Day TV ratings

Gavin and Stacey castImage copyright
PA Media

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Gavin and Stacey was the most-watched TV show on Christmas Day

The much-anticipated return of Gavin and Stacey achieved the best Christmas Day TV ratings for more than a decade, early “overnight” figures show.

The Christmas special was watched by a “well lush” average of 11.6 million viewers on BBC One.

When it went on air at 20:30 GMT, half (49.2%) of all TV viewers tuned in.

The episode, written by and starring James Corden and Ruth Jones, revisited Gavin, Stacey, Smithy and Nessa nearly 10 years after they left our screens.

The next most-watched programme was the Queen’s Christmas Broadcast, which was screened on BBC One, ITV and Sky and seen by 7.85 million people.

In recent years, The Queen’s annual broadcast has become the most-watched TV show, based on the overnight figures which do not include viewers who watch Christmas specials on catch-up services during the rest of the festive period.

Strictly Come Dancing, EastEnders and Michael McIntyre’s Big Show – all on BBC One – rounded out this year’s top five shows.

Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC content, said: “We delivered something for everyone with the seven most-popular programmes that cap off an incredible year for BBC One celebrating British talent and creativity.”

Gavin and Stacey, written by James Corden, who plays Smithy, and Ruth Jones, who has reprised the iconic role of Nessa, first aired in 2007.

The initial series saw the budding romance between Essex man Gavin Shipman, played by Mathew Horne, and Welsh woman Stacey West, portrayed by Joanna Page, flourish.

There were two subsequent series and a 2008 Christmas special.

It had been a decade since audiences left Gavin, Stacey, Smithy and Nessa sat on the seafront on Barry Island but the Christmas special proved these four – and their famous expressions – are still a big hit.


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