The return of Gavin & Stacey was seen by more 11 million viewers, making it the most-watched show on Christmas Day on UK television in over a decade.
The hour-long special, which was broadcast from 9:30pm, was seen by 11.6 million viewers according to ratings statistics known as overnights. The figure will rise further when catch-up and repeat viewing data is added later.
Wallace & Gromit special A Matter Of Loaf And Death was seen by 14.4 million in 2008, but ratings have fallen since. 2018's most-watched comedy on the 25th December was Michael McIntyre's Big Show, with 6.1 million.
The new special has received favourable press reviews in today's papers, with most awarding it four or five stars.
The special ended on a cliff hanger, prompting widespread calls from viewers for more episodes to be made. Although it would be tricky to reunite the busy cast again, particularly James Corden, who continues to have talk show commitments in the US, Ruth Jones has not ruled out the prospect of the show returning, saying there is potentially "room for more".
BBC One delivered the top seven highest-rated shows yesterday, with 6.4 million tuning in for The Queen; 5.5 million for Strictly and EastEnders; 5.2 million for Michael McInyre's Big Show and Call The Midwife; and 4.6 million for Mrs. Brown's Boys.
Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, says: "Christmas Day on BBC One brought the nation together and entertained them in their millions with the much anticipated return of Gavin & Stacey taking the top spot in 2019, and making it the biggest in a decade. 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."
Below is a behind-the-scenes video from the set of the Gavin & Stacey special:
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