Christmas Day TV: 7.2m tune in for Len's Strictly farewell

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Media captionStrictly stars say goodbye to Len Goodman

Strictly Come Dancing's festive special helped the BBC win the Christmas Day ratings battle, overnight viewing figures have shown.

An audience of 7.2 million tuned in to watch head judge Len Goodman's final appearance on the show after 12 years.

But the Queen's Christmas message - shown on both BBC and ITV - had the most viewers for the third year running, with an audience of 7.7m.

The BBC had eight of the day's top 10 most-watched programmes.

Radio DJ Melvin Odoom - the first contestant to leave this season of Strictly Come Dancing - won the show's Christmas special, which had a festive movies theme.

The pre-recorded show drew to a close on a number involving the contestants and judges dancing to "Auld Len's Syne" in a tribute to Goodman.

Other celebrities who took part included chef Ainsley Harriott and pop star Frankie Bridge.

Image copyright PA

But the Queen's speech drew the largest audience, up from 7.2m viewers in 2015.

She missed her annual Christmas Day visit to church in Sandringham due to a heavy cold, but in the pre-recorded speech she paid tribute to the UK's Olympians and Paralympians and spoke of her admiration for "unsung heroes".

Queen inspired by 'acts of goodness'

The third most-watched programme was the first instalment of The Great Christmas Bake Off, which was the final outing for the tent on the BBC before the programme moves - without judge Mary Berry and presenters Mel and Sue - to Channel 4.

Returning contestants Cathryn Dresser, Ali Imdad and Norman Calder took on a number of festive challenges, watched by 6.3m viewers.

But it was 2011 runner-up Mary-Anne Boermans who took the Christmas crown after an impressive show-stopper.

The second episode is on BBC One on Boxing Day at 19:00 GMT.

Image caption Norman's festive treats were not enough to win the bake-off prize

In the battle of the soaps, EastEnders came out top, but Coronation Street and Emmerdale also made the top 10.

The overnight TV ratings refer only to live television viewing and do not include online or catch-up audiences.

Christmas Day Viewing Figures

  1. The Queen at 3pm - BBC One and ITV - 7.7m
  2. Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special - BBC One - 7.2m
  3. The Great Christmas Bake Off - BBC One - 6.3m
  4. Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas Special - BBC One - 6.1m
  5. Call The Midwife - BBC One - 6.1m
  6. EastEnders - BBC One - 5.9m
  7. Coronation Street - ITV - 5.8m (not including ITV +1)
  8. Doctor Who - BBC One - 5.7m
  9. Frozen - BBC One - 4.7m
  10. Emmerdale - ITV - 4.2m

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