Two elderly grandmothers won the ratings war on UK television on Christmas Day. One of them was Irish comedy star Mrs Brown; the other was Queen Elizabeth II of England.
The unlikely sparring partners were way ahead of the rest of the field and both could make convincing claims to have come out on top. Mrs Brown’s Christmas special attracted an audience of 7.6 million on the UK’s national channel, the BBC.
That put her way ahead of the Queen’s Christmas Message which had 5.7 million viewers on the BBC. However, the Queen’s Message was also shown at the same time on the UK’s main commercial channel, ITV, where it gained an audience of 2.7million.
This gave the Queen a total combined audience of 7.8 million, which just nudged her ahead of Mrs Brown’s 7.6million.
It’s the second year running that Mrs Brown’s Boy’s was the best performing programme on the BBC, and British bookmakers have made her favourite to be next year’s winner as well. A spokesman for bookmaker William Hill told the Irish Examiner: “We have once again underestimated the popularity of Mrs Brown’s Boys — it must be a guilty pleasure as nobody in our office admits to watching it.”
The show has grown in popularity over the last few years. The colourful use of language and adult themes shocked audiences at first, but soon the humour and warmth of the show shone through and now it is one of the UK.s most successful sitcoms.
For those who haven’t seen it, this is a taster of the 2014 Christmas special. Caution, it contains adult humour.