The BBC revealed today that the Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special was watched by an audience of 18.5 million, becoming the BBC’s biggest TV programme outside of sporting and national events.
The figures also make it the biggest single episode of comedy across all channels since records began in 2002.
In a statement, Corden and Jones teased that they hope to one day pick up where the Christmas Special left off.
“It’s mind blowing that so many people watched our show – we still can’t get our heads round it, what a massive compliment,” they said.
“We are indebted to the BBC for their incredible support but most importantly to those 18.5 million viewers for watching.
“We just hope one day we can let them know what Smithy said next…”
The Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special ended on a cliffhanger, with Nessa (Jones) getting down on one knee and telling Smithy (Corden) she loved him.
But the episode ended before Smithy could answer, leaving viewers in the dark as to how the story concluded.
Director of BBC Content Charlotte Moore said in a statement: “These incredible viewing figures demonstrate the power of British comedy and the love for Gavin and Stacey.
“I want to thank James and Ruth for this gem and like everyone I’m longing to find out what happens next!”
BBC’s Controller Comedy Commissioning Shane Allen also said: “I’m delighted for Ruth and James that their terrific comic creation is more adored than ever.
“BBC One really does bring the nation together, and these figures are testament to iPlayer’s role in bringing our hit shows to new generations of fans.”
Of the 18.5 million viewers, 4.9 million were in the 16-34-year-old demographic
The figures are measured using BARB’s four-screen, 28-day measure, which began in August 2018 and accounts for viewing through TVs as well as online devices.
The previous record holder of the biggest comedy was Only Fools and Horses, with a seven-day consolidated figure of 17.4 million in 2002. The Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special has a seven-day, four-screen consolidated figure of 17.9 million