Celebrities such as Arabella Weir and Janet Street-Porter proved more interesting for 20.5% of the viewing audience than ITV1’s Teenagers from Hell and BBC One’s Cops, Robbers and Videotape, as they offered their own unique views of the festive season.
ITV1’s documentary on badly behaved youths came a close second with 4.6 million watchers, while BBC One’s footage of a plain-clothes squad catching villains in Lancashire attracted 4.4 million viewers and a 19.2% share.
It was another triumph for the Beeb as EastEnders won the battle of the soaps, bringing in 11.2 million viewers at 7.30pm, with ITV1’s Emmerdale notching up 8.9 million in its 7pm slot.
Nearly 50% of viewers watched the youngest Slater sister Zoe prepare for what is expected to be an explosive Christmas in Albert Square compared to 42.4% - still the second biggest audience of the evening – switching on to the latest down on the farm.
And yet again, it was BBC One who triumphed as its hospital drama Holby City went head-to-head with ITV1’s The Bill at 8pm, with 6.7 million and 28.8% of viewers tuning in to watch the medics’ Christmas party, compared to 5.2 million viewers for the Sun Hill coppers.
Later in the evening, the 10 o’clock News on BB1 brought in a 21% share of the audience, with 4.4 million viewers, while Chris Tarrant proved the second biggest draw card on ITV1 with 3.6 million people watching The Best of Tarrant on TV.
By Julia Martin