TV Viewing Round-Up: December 2012

21 Jan 2013  |  Simon Wright 
Matt Smith, Jenna-Louise Coleman

Christmas time, Mistletoe and Wine,
Children singing Christian rhyme,
With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree,
A time to rejoice in the good that we see.

So sang Cliff Richard about the joyful time that is Christmas, thankfully there were plenty of programmes to rejoice in. December is generally the one time of the year when practically everyone is stuck with family they'd rather avoid at home watching telly.

The festive edition of Doctor Who finally introduced the good Doctor's new travelling companion...sort of. Jenna-Louise Coleman made her second appearance as Clara Oswin Oswald in the 'wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff' world of Gallifrey's most famous time machine thief, then promptly died...again.

Whilst that in itself wasn't too much of a surprise, the ratings performance of the Christmas Day edition was more interesting. Though final consolidated viewing came in at 9.87 million, only 5.75 million people watched it as a live broadcast (making the episode the UK's most recorded TV show ever).

Miranda and some Carol singers

Elsewhere over the Christmas period saw the return of BBC One's smash hit sitcoms Miranda and Mrs Brown's Boys. The continued mishaps of Miranda Hart's joke shop owner pulled in 11.55 million viewers on Boxing Day.

This was narrowly behind the Christmas Eve edition of Mrs Brown's Boys, which had 11.69 million. Which seems to prove that the country can't get enough of Brendan O'Carroll's foul mouthed Irish matriarch.

Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn

There was time over the festive period to launch a brand new drama series. Set in Whitechapel and featuring a lead actor who had previously appeared in BBC One's Spooks (Matthew Macfadyen), Ripper Street, not to be confused with ITV's Whitechapel starring ex-Spooks actor Rupert Penry-Jones, debuted with 7.89 million viewers.

For those that couldn't bear to leave their homes and brave the annual damp squib that is New Year's Eve, BBC One offered a fairly cheap alternative to the celebrations taking place up and down the country. New Year Live, hosted this year by the hardest working woman in television Gabby Logan, managed to grab a pretty impressive 9.74 million viewers across midnight.

Louis Smith

In what was a pretty good month for BBC One, the top rated programme for December was the final of Strictly Come Dancing. The final dance off pitted children's television star Dani Harmer, Girls Aloud singer Kimberley Walsh, television personality Denise Van Outen and Olympic medallist Louis Smith against each other.

Topping off his fairytale 2012, the bare chested gymnast waltzed off with the win in front of 13.37 million viewers, with a further 11.40 million tuning in to watch him pick up his crown on Strictly Come Dancing: The Results. This was only marginally behind the usually all conquering The X-Factor Results, which saw James McArthur win the role of Simon Cowell's latest short-term project in front of 11.50 million reality show fans.

Top Programmes (excluding soaps):

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All Homes:

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Digital Homes:

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Sky vs Freeview (share):

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