The Christmas episode of Eastenders was the most watched television programme of 2007, according to new audience research figures.

As the affair between Max and Stacy came to a head on Christmas Day, 14.38 million viewers tuned in to the BBC1 soap.

According to new figures from research body Barb, the Christmas special of Doctor Who was the second most-watched show of the year with 13.31 million watching the Timelord's adventures with Kylie Minogue.

The highest-rated show on ITV1 was the Rugby World Final, with 13.13 million, while an episode of Coronation Street finished fourth with 13.08 million viewers.

The Barb statistics, published in Broadcast magazine, also revealed that combined prime-time viewing figures for BBC1 and ITV1 have dropped below 50 per cent for the first time.

BBC1's share of the 20:00 to 23:00 slot fell from 24.22 per cent in 2006 to 23.43 per cent last year, while ITV1's share dropped 1.5 per cent to 25.32 per cent.

Of the top 100 most-watched programmes of 2007, only two came from Channel 4 - Big Brother and the celebrity version of the reality show.

The top ten shows of 2007 were:

1 EastEnders Christmas episode (BBC1) - 14.38 million
2 Doctor Who Christmas episode (BBC1) - 13.31 million
3 Rugby World Cup Final (ITV1) - 13.13 million
4 Coronation Street (ITV1) - 13.08 million
5 The Vicar of Dibley (BBC1) - 13.06 million
6 The X Factor Results (ITV1) - 12.23 million
7 Concert for Diana (BBC1) - 12.22 million
8 Strictly Come Dancing (BBC1) - 12.09 million
9 Britain's Got Talent (ITV1) - 11.58 million
10 England vs Croatia (BBC1) - 11.19 million

18/01/2008 15:45:40