Revealed: The UK’s most viewed TV episode of all time

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Classic comedies and old style variety shows dominate a recently published list of the most watched television programmes from the past 80 years.

Del Boy and Rodney appear four times, as does the Royal Variety Show and Coronation Street, the only soap to make the list.

Significantly, no show since the end of 2001 appears on the list, perhaps reflecting a change in viewing habits and the rise in alternative entertainment options during this time.

The most watched TV programmes during the last 80 years:
1. Only Fools And Horses (BBC1, December 29 1996): 24.35 million
2. To The Manor Born (BBC1, November 11 1979): 23.95 million
3. The Royal Variety Performance (ITV, November 19 1967): 22.80 million
4. Panorama (BBC1, November 20 1995): 22.77 million
5. The Royal Variety Performance (ITV, November 14 1965): 21.70 million
6. Dallas (BBC1, November 22 1980): 21.60 million
7. To The Manor Born (BBC1, November 9 1980): 21.55 million
8. The Mike Yarwood Christmas Show (BBC1, December 25 1977): 21.40 million
= Coronation Street (ITV, January 2 1985): 21.40 million
10. Only Fools And Horses (BBC1, December 25 2001): 21.35 million
11. Only Fools And Horses (BBC1, December 27 1996): 21.33 million
12. Only Fools And Horses (BBC1, December 25 1996): 21.31 million
13. The Morecambe And Wise Christmas Show (BBC1, December 25 1977): 21.30 million
14. The Royal Variety Performance (ITV, November 10 1963): 21.20 million
= The Silver Jubilee Royal Variety Gala (ITV, December 4 1977): 21.20 million
16. Bread (BBC1, December 11 1988): 20.95 million
17. The Benny Hill Show (ITV, March 14 1979): 20.85 million
18. Coronation Street (ITV, December 18 1980): 20.80 million
19. Just Good Friends (BBC1, December 21 1986): 20.75 million
20. Sale Of The Century (ITV, November 19 1977) 20.60 million
= Coronation Street (ITV, January 9 1985): 20.60 million
= Coronation Street (ITV, January 16 1985): 20.60 million