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Doctor Who named the best TV show of Christmas Day 2017 – but the Queen wins the TV ratings battle

The Queen's Christmas message was the most watched programme on TV this Christmas Day, but readers were won over by Jodie Whittaker's Doctor Who debut

Published: Wednesday, 27th December 2017 at 10:05 am

Doctor Who has been named the best show on TV this Christmas Day – but the Queen's Christmas message was the most watched programme on the day.


7.6 million people watched the Queen's traditional Christmas message on BBC1, ITV and Sky News, but it was Jodie Whittaker's debut appearance on Doctor Who that really got viewers talking on Christmas Day.

In a poll of over 1000 readers, Doctor Who was named the best show on TV this Christmas Day, followed by EastEnders' festive shocker in second and BBC1 favourite Call the Midwife in third.

"Doctor Who – best programme in time and space for that day," said Daniel Parrish on the Radio Times Facebook page, while ITV festive special Victoria was also celebrated online.

"Call the Midwife and Victoria were both fantastic on Christmas Day," said Jennifer Banks, while Richard Burton said it was "hard for me to choose between Doctor Who and Victoria – both were stunning".

BBC1 comedy Mrs Brown's Boys was the second most watched show on Christmas Day with an audience of 6.8 million people, followed by Strictly Come Dancing with 6.5 million viewers and Call the Midwife with 6.3 million.

Doctor Who was the sixth most watched show in the UK on Christmas Day with an audience of 5.7 million viewers. EastEnders meanwhile was the fifth most watched programme with just under 6.3 million viewers.

However, all these figures only include people who watched the episode on the day. The number of viewers who recorded their Christmas TV or caught up online afterwards will be released later.

The Doctor Who 2017 Christmas Day special was Peter Capaldi's final episode on the show, and the final moments saw his Doctor regenerating into Jodie Whittaker's Thirteenth Doctor.

She is the first female star of the long-running BBC sci-fi, and her first words – "Oh brilliant" – summed up many viewers' reactions to her first appearance.

In a survey of Doctor Who fans, over 70 per cent of respondents said new star Whittaker "nailed" her first appearance as the Doctor.


Mrs Brown's Boys also saw a 'regeneration' of its own, with outgoing actor Rory Cowan replaced by 'new Rory' actor Damien McKiernan via a nifty plastic surgery storyline.


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