Page last updated at 15:46 GMT, Saturday, 26 December 2009

EastEnders tops 2009 Christmas Day ratings

Archie Mitchell
Some 10.9m Eastenders viewers saw Archie Mitchell being murdered

EastEnders was the most watched TV show on Christmas Day, with 10.9m viewers on average and a peak of 11.9m, according to overnight figures from BARB.

The audience research body found BBC shows were nine of the 10 most watched.

The Royle Family, which had an average of 10.2m viewers, was the second most watched show, followed by Doctor Who, which was watched by 10m people.

The only ITV programme in the Top 10 was Coronation Street - the sixth most popular show - with 7.9m viewers.

Gavin and Stacey, which is nearing the end of its final series, was the fourth most watched programme, with 9.2m viewers.

It was followed by Gruffalo, which was watched by 8.8m people.

The range and variety of our line up this year offered something for all audiences to enjoy
Jay Hunt
BBC One controller

The Queen's Christmas message, produced this year by ITN, was broadcast simultaneously on BBC1 and ITV1 and attracted an average audience of 8.1m. Of those, 5.7m were watching on the BBC.

Meanwhile, Catherine Tate: Nan's Xmas Carol attracted 7.1m people - slightly more than the 6.8m who watched BBC News at 1715 GMT and Strictly Come Dancing.

And more viewers opted to watch Christmas programmes in high definition than in 2008.

The most popular show in this format was Doctor Who, which attracted an audience of 343,000, followed by Gruffalo with 249,000.

This was a marked increase on last year when 120,000 watched Wallace and Gromit in HD.

All the figures are based on overnight average figures produced by BARB, which do not take into account viewers who will watch shows at a later date on the BBC iPlayer or the ITV Player.

Following the corporation's ratings success, BBC One controller Jay Hunt said: "I am thrilled that BBC One continues to be the channel of choice for Christmas Day viewing. The range and variety of our line up this year offered something for all audiences to enjoy."

Meanwhile, ITV said it had enjoyed "a successful 2009, in which it has consolidated its position as the UK's leading peak time broadcaster and dominated the year's most watched programmes, particularly in entertainment and drama".

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