Viewers dismayed at Christmas TV

Christmas television in the UK is a disappointment, a survey of 2,000 viewers has suggested.

More than half (57%) said Christmas TV, which includes several high-profile soap storylines and the Queen’s speech, was “not as good as it used to be”.

Only 9% deemed the schedules “excellent festive entertainment”, while 24% branded them “completely over-rated”.

In a separate poll, viewers said they would prefer to watch blockbuster films than soaps or dramas over Christmas.

The YouGov survey of 2,111 adults revealed that recent big-budget films like Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean were the most desirable viewing on Christmas Day.

Only Fools And Horses was the second most popular choice, with viewers opting to spend their afternoon in the company of Del Boy and Rodney.

Classic films like Mary Poppins or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang rounded out the top three.

Dawn French’s The Vicar of Dibley took fourth place with ITV soap Coronation Street just beating the BBC’s EastEnders for a place in the top five.

The Queen’s speech came ninth in the survey.

The younger generation, aged between 18 and 24, said their top Christmas Day show would be The Simpsons.

The research into favourite programmes was carried out for media company ANT Software, while the survey of attitudes into viewing habits was commissioned by media website Utalk.

“The chocolate box image of families crowded around their TV sets next to a roaring log fire simply doesn’t exist in today’s Britain,” said Utalk founder Niall McKinney.

“The internet has transformed the way we spend our time and, Christmas Day or not, many of us still like to feel connected by going online to check in with distant friends.”

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