Gavin & Stacey becomes biggest show of decade with 17m viewers

Christmas day special is also ninth-biggest transmission of past 10 years.

Gavin & Stacey: Corden, Page, Horne and Jones
Gavin & Stacey: Corden, Page, Horne and Jones

The return of Gavin & Stacey at Christmas has become the most-watched scripted show of the decade.

Consolidated viewing figures released by the BBC show that 17.1 million people watched the programme, which was created by James Corden and Ruth Jones. This is an additional 5.5 million from the initial overnight figure of 11.6 million.

It means that the one-off episode, which aired on Christmas day at 8.30pm, has become the biggest Christmas day programme of the decade and the ninth-biggest transmission of the past 10 years, the BBC said, with the top eight comprising sporting events.

The broadcaster added that the Gavin & Stacey special has also attracted the highest-ever number of viewers in the first week for any episode for 16- to 34-year-olds on the iPlayer. The video-on-demand service has had 4.4 million requests so far, with 1.4 million of those aged 16 to 34.

Gavin & Stacey, which stars Matthew Horne and Joanna Page as the eponymous characters, returned to screens after three series between 2007 and 2010. It also stars Corden, Jones, Rob Brydon, Alison Steadman and Larry Lamb, among others. 

Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s director of content, said: "Gavin & Stacey has been a phenomenal hit this Christmas, breaking records to become the biggest scripted show of the decade and the biggest first week for any episode on BBC iPlayer for young audiences ever. Congratulations to James Corden, Ruth Jones and all the team."

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