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Most popular Christmas TV programmes

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953190.  Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:25 pm Reply with quote

What was the most-watched Christmas Day TV programme of the 1970s?

Klaxon: Morecambe and Wise.

Correct answer: The Mike Yarwood Christmas Show.

Morecambe and Wise's 1977 Christmas show nearly always seems to get mentioned as some kind of ratings record-breaker, but while it was indeed the highest-rated programme Eric and Ernie ever made, it wasn't even the most popular show broadcast on that day. That honour went to the Mike Yarwood Christmas Show, which was on directly before Morecambe and Wise, and which pulled 21.4m viewers against Eric and Ernie's paltry 21.3m.

And the single most-watched TV programme of any kind in the 1970s? The final episode of the first series of To The Manor Born, which pulled 23.9m viewers in November 1979.

953214.  Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:56 pm Reply with quote

Not of any kind, surely. I suppose it's arguable whether or not they are programs, but coverage of special events often gets larger audiences than any normal show.

Wiki suggests that the coverage of the Apollo 13 splashdown got 28.6m viewers in April 1970. It was carried simultaneously on BBC1 and ITV though, so the record for one channel is the 27.6m who watched Princess Anne's first wedding on BBC1 in November 1973.

If we do not restrict ourselves to the 1970s, the absolute record in the UK is the 32.2m who watched the 1966 World Cup final. That too was shown simultaneously on BBC1 and ITV.

Looking more globally, the 2010 Olympic men's hockey final deserves a mention too. An absolute dream for CTV - the game happened Sunday evening prime time, it was between Canada and the USA, and it went to overtime. If CTV had been asked in advance who they wanted in the final, it would have taken them at least one hundredth of a second to name those two countries.

80% of the entire population of Canada watched the game.
1293835.  Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:28 am Reply with quote

While we're on the subject of popular (very much back then!) television programmes, here's a nugget I've just found out about The Black and White Minstrel Show

What was the colour of their original make-up?
Default - black.

It was actually red as during the years up to 1967 when the show went out in, ironically, black and white, black make-up didn't film as well.


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