Christmas Day on television… in 2007 

24 December 2017 tbs.pm/14427

The Radio Times tells us what was on many UK TV channels on Tuesday 25 December 2007. Things worth noting include…

  • Four out of the five main channels spend the morning catering primarily for younger viewers: BBC Two offers a CBeebies strand until the end of Breakfast, when CBBC programmes on BBC One lead up to the only televised religious service of the day. Films are a-plenty, with more family-friendly movies on BBC One, ITV1 and Five, and a more classic tone to the cinematic choices on BBC Two and Channel 4.
  • Sharing space with the morning and afternoon listings for the Big Five networks are the regional variations for Welsh viewers, incorporating a nod to S4C’s silver anniversary year in the description for Cnex at 10.45. The version of S4C documented here is still the Welsh-English fusion of the channel’s birth, yet the slow shift towards total Cymraeg in the post-digital era is evident.
  • For their lucrative Christmas night schedules, BBC One assumes dominance across the mainstream networks. Topping that list is the 8.00pm edition of EastEnders, where the fallout from the revelation of Max Branning and Stacey Slater’s clandestine affair chalked up an audience of 14.38 million viewers. Second place went to Doctor Who adventure “Voyage of the Damned” with 13.31 million viewers, the highest audience in the NuWho era so far. Bronze honours went to the 6.20pm episode of EastEnders, while also surpassing the 10 million viewer mark was the revisit of To the Manor Born.
  • ITV’s ratings leader was, unsurprisingly, Coronation Street, whose audience of just shy of 10 million viewers was undoubtedly dented by the festive edition of Strictly Come Dancing on BBC One running in the same slot. Meanwhile, BBC Two’s highest-rated programme of the day was the 33-year old episode of Dad’s Army with 2.73 million viewers; Channel 4’s winner was a special edition of prime-era Deal or No Deal with 1.92 million viewers; and Five’s top-rated broadcast of Christmas Day 2007 was found not in the evening, but at 1.55pm in the afternoon – perhaps Whoopi Goldberg’s involvement in Call Me Claus drew in a shade over 1 million viewers.
  • Despite the myriad of channels listed by now, evidence suggests when Christmas comes around, the UK television viewer tends to stick with the mainstream networks. Indeed, the repeat of the two episodes of EastEnders seen earlier on BBC One gets the highest rating for what BARB still define as the “others” on this Christmas Day, registering 716,000 viewers.
  • Perhaps knowing less of an effort is required schedule-wise, there’s plenty of what we’d now call “binge-viewing” in evidence. There’s back-to-back editions of The Two Ronnies on ITV3 (if the DVD given away with this issue of RT doesn’t whet your appetite enough for Messrs Barker and Corbett!) and Only Fools and Horses on UKTV Gold. Or if your comedy taste are more contemporary, there’s Peep Show on E4 or The Simpsons on Sky One. Exploring through the remaining page spreads, the same treatment is afforded to The World at War on UKTV History, Andes to Amazon on sister station UKTV Documentary, and Wheeler Dealers on Discovery Real Time.
  • Last month, when I reviewed an evening’s viewing on the OnDigital platform in 1999, I observed how selected networks have changed their remit over time. Suffice to say, this comes into play here too. Consider More4, where the only programme transmitted on this particular day which is likely to feature on the station today is A River Cottage Christmas Special. Or the History Channel schedule, where the connection to the past in the scheduled programme is more tenable to history than the likes of Pawn Stars.

You Say

1 response to this article

Victor Field 26 December 2017 at 7:05 am

I can’t remember what I watched that day, but it’s unlikely to have been anything on the terrestrial channels.

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