'EastEnders' pips 'Doctor Who' on Christmas


LONDON - BBC soap "EastEnders" attracted the biggest British TV audience on Christmas Day, holding off competition from a special edition of "Doctor Who" featuring singer Kylie Minogue, estimates Wednesday showed.

The second half of the EastEnders double bill in which the affair between Stacey Branning and her father-in-law Max was discovered drew in 13.9 million viewers at its peak, the BBC said.

Minogue, who played the part of a waitress in a special called Voyage of the Damned, helped boost Doctor Who's figures to 13.8 million viewers.

On average, 12.2 million viewers watched the BBC episode making it the highest ratings for Doctor Who since its return in 2005, and its best viewing figures since 1979, its official Web site said.

The return of the comedy "To The Manor Born" for a one-off program on BBC had 10.1 million viewers at its peak.

Coronation Street was ITV's top program with a peak of 9.6 million.

The BBC cited overnight figures from the Broadcasting Audience Research Board. They do not include viewers who recorded the programs.

Last year, the most viewed Christmas Day television program was the BBC's comedy "The Vicar of Dibley" with 11.4 million.

The top 10 viewed programs in 2007 were:

1. EastEnders part two (13.9 million)

2. Doctor Who (13.8 million)

3. EastEnders part one (11.8 million)

4. To The Manor Born (10.1 million)

5. Shrek 2 (10.1 million)

6. BBC News at 1800 (10.1 million)

7. Strictly Come Dancing Special (9.9 million)

8. Coronation Street (9.6 million)

9. Finding Nemo (8.3 million)

10. The Queen's Christmas Message (7.5 million)