EastEnders Christmas episode tops iPlayer figures over festive season
The EastEnders Christmas Day episode was the BBC’s most-watched programme on iPlayer over the festive period.
The dramatic broadcast, which saw tragedy hit the Branning family as sisters Lauren and Abi plummeted from the roof of the Queen Vic pub as they tried to save their father Max, has been requested 1.63 million times since its initial broadcast.
The broadcaster said it was the most popular show across the entire festive period, which ran from December 18 until December 31, beating episodes of Peaky Blinders and Doctor Who.
Across that same period, EastEnders had nine episodes of the overall top 20 most-watched shows on the catch-up service.
The Boxing Day episode of the soap was in second place with a total of 1.57 million requests, with the final episode of the fourth series of period drama Peaky Blinders in third place, having been viewed 1.4 million times on iPlayer.
Over Christmas week, from Monday December 25 until Sunday December 31, iPlayer had its best-ever week of ratings, both for the number of requests and for weekly hours viewed.
There were 69.2 million requests to watch programmes and 25.6 million hours watched, compared to 58.6 million requests and 22.5 million hours watched in the same period the previous year, the broadcaster has said.
The introduction of a number of TV box-sets to the service, including Blue Planet, Miranda, Peaky Blinders and Line Of Duty, was credited for the boost in figures.
According to the data, the additional content has so far been requested more than 29.4 million times.
Charlotte Moore, BBC director of content, said: “It’s hugely exciting to see such unprecedented numbers come to BBC iPlayer this Christmas.
“The public have responded in their millions to the amazing range of content we’ve offered – and for those who are loving our special Christmas box-set collection there are still a few days to go.”