The Christmas TV viewer numbers are in, which saw multiple queens, a 'royal' couple and a troop of priests battling for supremacy.
It’s official: Mrs Brown is once again the queen of Christmas television after the Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas special pulled in the most viewers over the festive period for the sixth year in a row.
An average of 607,500 viewers tuned in on Christmas Day to watch the antics of Agnes and her clan this year on Mrs Brown’s Boys: Mammy’s Forest. The show has strong Donegal connections, with many stars having links to the county.
Donegal’s own royal couple beat the Queen of England with their Christmas Day message.
A total of 97,100 viewers tuned in to TV3 to see Daniel O’Donnell and his wife Majella deliver ‘Daniel and Majella’s Christmas Message’.
Viewership averaged at 78,000, peaking at 87,600. This out-performed the traditional Queen’s Speech on BBC1 which delivered on average 51,600 viewers in the Republic of Ireland across the 3pm slot.
On Christmas Eve, Daniel’s RTÉ One festive special – Christmas With Daniel – also proved to be very popular viewing, drawing an average audience of 342,600 tuning in.
Fair City also won the battle of the festive soaps on RTE with an average of 423,700 viewers tuning in on Christmas night as the big showdown at the Brennan’s brought Christmas celebrations to an abrupt end.
The St. Stephen’s Day episode of Coronation Street pulled in an average of 357,000 viewers on TV3. The Christmas episode of Emmerdale also proved a big draw for soap fans, with both parts of the double episode bringing in almost 200,000 viewers each.
On RTÉ2, the Father Ted Christmas Special – the one where the priests get all lost in the lingerie department of a shopping centre – proved as big a draw as ever on Christmas Eve, bringing in an average audience of 229,600.
Comedy was obviously a big draw over the festive period, with the Bridget & Eamon Christmas Special bringing in an audience of around 185,100 viewers. The Boxing Day repeat also had 94,400 viewers.
The most popular festive films were: The Flag, Frozen, Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on RTE. Over on TV3, classic Christmas movies were a big draw, including Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The Wizard of Oz, The Commitments, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
The sad news of George Michael’s death also sparked a rise in ratings for the news. The most-watched news broadcast over the bank holiday weekend was the St Stephen’s Day Nine O’Clock News on RTÉ One.
Just under 475,000 tuned in for the bulletin which led with the news of George Michael’s sudden death the day before.