Christmas Television

Many of the year’s most-watched programmes are broadcast over Christmas and this year looks to be no exception. Reality shows often climax over Christmas, and many well-loved comedies and dramas have special Christmas episodes.

This year it seems likely that the BBC will win the ratings battle, with all of the favourites coming from BBC 1’s evening schedule. Mrs Brown’s Boys, hugely popular with audiences, if not with critics, is the current favourite with William Hill at 13/8. Close behind at 2/1 is period drama “Call the Midwife”.

Rounding out the most likely winners is Michael McIntyre’s Big Christmas Show at 7/2 and Strictly Come Dancing at 4/1. Eastenders, which for many years dominated Christmas viewing, is a longshot at 25/1.

Two Horse Race

The rhythm of a British Christmas Day tends to favour evening programmes as families begin to relax on their sofas following the day’s celebrations. Call the Midwife will be broadcast tomorrow at 19.45, one of the prime slots for gathering huge viewing figures.

As always the BBC has kept details scarce on what viewers might expect to see in tomorrow’s feature length episode, though they are promised the return of popular character Trixie.

The beloved Mrs Brown’s Boys will be shown later in the evening at 22.15. Whether or not it emerges victorious will depend on how many of its loyal viewers manage to stay awake to see it. Last year Call the Midwife managed to nose ahead, with 9.6million viewers.