Belfast Telegraph

Poll: Downton Abbey, EastEnders, Dr Who - what will you be watching this Christmas?

By Amanda Ferguson and PA

The Christmas Day TV ratings battle looks set to be another cracker.

But what are you looking forward to watching over the festive period? Take our poll below.

Downton Abbey's final episode will be broadcast on the big day, but it will face competition from the EastEnders annual gloomfest, with both set to hit the nation's screens at 8.45pm.

Last year's special of the period drama, in which Tom Branson (Allen Leech) departed for a new life in America, was seen by an average overnight audience of 5.8m viewers. Including those watching on ITV +1, there were 7.7m viewers.

Downton Abbey was scheduled against the BBC One soap last year, but the Walford-set show triumphed in the overnight score with 7.5m viewers.

EastEnders will serve up a very bleak Christmas Day for one Albert Square resident because it will be their last.

Cab driver Charlie Slater, played by veteran actor Derek Martin, is the favourite to be killed off.

Doctor Who is another ratings winner over the holidays.

However, analysts say this year's Christmas Day episode, The Husbands Of River Song, could be the least-watched seasonal special since the show was revived in 2005.

Last year's Christmas special, starring Peter Capaldi as the Time Lord and Nick Frost as Santa Claus, drew an overnight average of 6.3m viewers in the ratings, according to the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board.

The BBC One programme increased to 8.3m viewers when consolidated figures, which take into account viewers watching by time-shifting and catch-up services, were released.

Fans of the classic series are hoping the early 5.15pm start for the special will not have a detrimental effect on ratings.

It will see Peter Capaldi's Time Lord meet his wife River Song (played by Alex Kingston) for the first time since his regeneration.

The flirty chemistry between Capaldi and Kingston is said to ignite this instalment as the duo take Doctor Who into romantic comedy territory.

Belfast Telegraph

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