Midwife top Christmas period drama

Call The Midwife was a hit with Christmas TV viewers

Call The Midwife was a hit with Christmas TV viewers

First published in National Entertainment News © by

Call The Midwife was way ahead of Downton Abbey in the Christmas Day battle of the period dramas, new figures show.

The two shows were neck and neck on 7.3 million viewers when overnight audience figures were issued last week, but "consolidated" figures - which include catch-up viewing - show the BBC One hit was half a million ahead.

It drew 10.15 million viewers for its December 25 special, while ITV1's Downton had 9.60 million (including viewers of the ITV+1 channel).

In 2011 Downton was the big winner based on consolidated figures, which meant that, after time-shift viewing was included, it was the biggest Christmas Day show.

However, its seasonal edition screened last week - in which Dan Stevens' character Matthew Crawley was killed off - proved to be the sixth most popular show of the day.

EastEnders retained its position as the most popular show of the day, according to the new figures, while Midwife was second.

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