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'EastEnders', 'Merlin' help BBC One lead Christmas Eve ratings

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BBC One had the strongest audience figures in primetime on Christmas Eve, early overnight ratings data indicates.

Saturday evening's episode of EastEnders - in which Jane told Yusef that she had seen Zainab and Masood kissing - attracted 7.84m (30.1%) to the channel between 8.45pm and 9.20pm. The BBC Three repeat at 10.50pm was seen by 687k (3.7%).

Zainab and Masood discuss their divorce papers

© BBC



EastEnders was the only soap to air an episode on Christmas Eve and will air again tonight, while Emmerdale and Coronation Street will also broadcast episodes on Christmas Day.

Elsewhere on BBC One, family film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was seen by an average of 4.7m viewers (21%) - peaking at 5.63m (23.9%) in the last quarter of an hour - while 6.38m (25.0%) were enchanted by the fourth series finale of Merlin, 'The Sword in the Stone, Part 2'.

An audience of 7.02m (28.1%) enjoyed the Outnumbered Christmas special between 9.20pm and 10pm, while Sue Johnston comedy Lapland averaged 5.9m (28.5) between 10pm and 11.15pm.

Merlin S04E13: 'The Sword In The Stone - Part 2'

© BBC / Shine/Nick Briggs

Ant and Dec take on the Cyclone Bushtucker trial for ITV's Text Santa charity appeal

© ITV



The second instalment of ITV1's charity broadcast Text Santa attracted 4.02m (15.0%) between 7.30pm and 10pm, including 258k (1.0%) on ITV1 HD. A further 136.8k (0.6) watched on ITV1+1.

A celebrity special of The Cube entertained 4.99m (20.8%) at 6.30pm, including 269k (1.2%) on HD (+1: 252k, 1.0%).

BBC Two focused on classic comedians in primetime as compilation Morecambe and Wise: A Perfect Christmas entertained 2.82m (11.0%), followed by profile The Many Faces of Les Dawson in the 9pm hour, which amused 2.84m (11.2%). The Best of Les Dawson followed with figures of 2.44m (10.7%) between 10pm and 10.25pm.

Channel 4 attracted 1.39m (5.6%) with the terrestrial premiere of musical comedy Hairspray - starring John Travolta and Michelle Pfeiffer - with a further 283k (1.1) on Channel 4+1. Home for the Holidays concluded on 0.67m (2.9%).

Channel 5 attracted an average of 986k (4.8%) with a repeat of three-hour archive show Greatest Christmas TV Moments, peaking at 1.2m (5.2%) between 10pm and 10.15pm. The Gadget Show's Christmas Eve special drew in 862k (3.4%) beforehand in the 8pm hour.

BBC One led Christmas Eve primetime with 26.2%, followed by ITV1 on 15.1% (+1: ). BBC Two finished in third place with a 9.8% share, followed by Channel 4 and Channel 5 on 4.6% and 4.0% respectively.

BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional

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