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The most popular UK Christmas TV specials


The most popular UK Christmas TV specials

As Christmas fast approaches, many of us will be looking forward to watching some binge-worthy TV as we gather around with our families and sit in front of the box.

One of the best things about the festive season is the specials that get produced by our favourite shows, and there have been some real classics over the years.  With this in mind, the experts at ICE36 analysed Google search data to uncover the Christmas specials we’re looking forward to watching the most this year.

Taking the crown as the most-searched Christmas special is the BBC’s “Motherland.” With specials airing in both 2020 and 2022, the show offers a hilarious and relatable take on the chaotic lives of modern mothers juggling family, friendships, and careers.

Set in London, the show humorously explores the challenges of parenting and societal pressures, creating an entertaining and realistic portrayal of the ups and downs of motherhood. With its witty writing and brilliant cast, these specials deliver laughs and heartfelt moments in equal measure, resonating with audiences through its authentic portrayal of the trials and triumphs of parenthood.

The most popular TV Christmas specials:


Christmas Special

Number of Google Searches


Motherland Christmas Special



Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special



Doctor Who Christmas Special



Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special



Call The Midwife Christmas Special



Downton Abbey Christmas Special



Father Ted Christmas Special



Only Fools and Horses Christmas Special



The Simpsons Christmas Special



The Office Christmas Special


Following up in second place is another BBC series, “Gavin & Stacey.” Created by James Cordon and Ruth Jones, the show follows the lives of a charming couple, Gavin and Stacey, as they navigate a long-distance relationship between England and Wales.

Complete with endearing characters and witty humour, the show beautifully captures the essence of family, friendship, and love. With its blend of comedic moments and heartfelt storytelling, this sitcom has become a beloved classic, celebrated for its warmth, genuine portrayal of relationships, and quirky charm. The show produced two Christmas specials, one in 2008 and another in 2019, the latter watched by nearly 19 million viewers.

Dom Aldworth, Head of Branding Marketing at ICE36:

“Christmas specials on TV have a magical way of captivating audiences year after year. These beloved programs offer a comforting familiarity and a sense of tradition during the festive season. They often weave heartwarming stories, nostalgia, and festive cheer, creating a unique bond that resonates with viewers of all ages.

“Moreover, Christmas specials tend to feature iconic characters, memorable music, and visually stunning decorations, contributing to the overall enchantment. Audiences find solace and escape in these shows, creating cherished moments that become a part of their Christmas traditions. Ultimately, the enduring appeal of Christmas specials lies in their ability to transport us to a world of wonder and warmth, reminding us of the true essence and values of the festive season.”

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