EastEnders triumphed in the war of the Christmas Day soap ratings thanks to Danny Dyer’s dramatic departure from the Walford soap as Mick Carter.
Although the soap operas did not receive the most viewers that day, as is customary around Christmas, everyone was watching to see how Coronation Street and Emmerdale fared against EastEnders’ customary blockbuster appearance.
This year, all the stops were pulled out as Mick was swept out to sea in his final episode and was assumed dead.
A tense car chase that preceded the incident involved Mick and Linda (Kellie Bright) attempting to stop Janine Butcher (Charlie Brooks) from fleeing the scene of her crimes.
The moment Linda jumped into Janine’s car, an action scene played out in which the car slid off a cliff and into the water.
Mick, unaware that Linda had already escaped, first saved the pregnant Janine and then waded back into the chilly waters to save her.
Fans were on the verge of falling asleep from the excess of turkey and stuffing anyway as it was the last time a screaming Linda would see her soulmate.
On ITV, however, things were generally more subdued. Fiz (Jennie McAlpine) and Tyrone (Alan Halsall) got married, and in Emmerdale, Chas Dingle (Lucy Pargeter) met her long-lost secret brother Caleb (Will Ash).
EastEnders was the most-watched soap for the first time since 2019 with 3.17 million viewers tuning in overnight for the live broadcast.
This amount, which excludes online catch-up, will rise when the final ratings are combined.
Interestingly, despite ongoing claims that soap operas and all live television are losing viewers, EastEnders’ viewership increased from 2.92 million viewers in 2017.
Emmerdale had 2.56 million viewers last night, while Coronation Street had 2.85 million.
EastEnders and Coronation Street were the eighth and ninth most watched TV shows of the day, respectively.
As EastEnders competes with Coronation Street and has already premiered its Boxing Day episode on BBC iPlayer this morning, ratings for the drama’s second half tonight are likely to be entirely different.
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