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Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special named “biggest TV programme since 2002”

Watched by an audience of 18.5 million

The BBC has revealed that the Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special was “the biggest TV programme outside of sporting and national events since records began in 2002.”

The programme was watched by an audience of 18.5 million, becoming the biggest single episode of any scripted TV programme across all channels.

The Christmas Special overtook the 2010 X Factor final as the most-watched TV programme, and the finale of BBC One’s Bodyguard in 2018 (17.1 million viewers) as the most popular scripted programme.

Figures are measured using BARB’s updated four-screen 28-day measure, introduced in August 2018 to include online non-TV devices.

“These incredible viewing figures demonstrate the power of British comedy and the love for Gavin and Stacey,” said Charlotte Moore, director BBC Content. “I want to thank James and Ruth for this gem and like everyone I’m longing to find out what happens next!”

“It’s mind blowing that so many people watched our show – we still can’t get our heads round it, what a massive compliment,” added James Corden and Ruth Jones. “We are indebted to the BBC for their incredible support but most importantly to those 18.5 million viewers for watching. We just hope one day we can let them know what Smithy said next…”