Christmas Specials are always popular at this time of year, and they do not have to be new episodes. Some of the best-loved festive specials are from decades-old series, and they remain classics to this day. As we prepare to celebrate Christmas 2020 – and the end to a rather difficult year – some data has been compiled to reveal what viewers consider to be the best Christmas specials of all time.
Christmas is just around the corner and families are looking forward to settling down to some cheerful TV after their Christmas dinners.
With so many new specials emerging this year, they are spoilt for choice with what to watch over the festive period.
The regulars such as Doctor Who and Call The Midwife will be returning, along with new specials like All Creatures Great And Small.
There are also the classics which never grow old, and some of them have earned the top spot for the best-loved Christmas special.
Both Direct Packing Solutions and OnBuy spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about which shows came out on top.
Caoimhe McGonagle, content writer for Direct Packaging Solutions, told Express.co.uk: “It’s interesting to show that out of the top three episodes as rated by IMDb, two of them are Only Fools and Horses specials from the same year, 1996.
“This is no huge surprise. Only Fools and Horses ran for seven seasons and countless Christmas specials. The two-episode names above appeared in what is known as ‘the Christmas trilogy’, arguably the most famous Christmas programmes in UK television history.
“Given that 24.3 million people – over a quarter of the entire population – watched the final episode in the trilogy, entitled Time On Our Hands, it is no surprise that those episodes are rated so highly.”
The series has since come back into the spotlight after it was picked up by Britbox and Netflix, and Del Boy Trotter star David Jason has spoken in recent TV interviews about the show’s success.
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TV experts at OnBuy also sought to find out the best Christmas episodes from the TV shows fans love the most.
Interestingly, they found The Office Christmas Special Part 2 was the number one episode, having surveyed 3,256 people.
They looked at the highest-rated Christmas episodes per show, according to IMDb, to reveal the best Christmas specials of all time.
The British Office’s special was also the series finale, with 70 per cent of IMDb users giving an average vote of 10 stars.
One fan said: “The Office had a brilliant closer with this second part Christmas special. Apart from the non-stop jokes that are the shows’ speciality, the episode brought a perfect mix of the joy of the holiday season with plenty of heartfelt emotion, which we all expect from a series finale.”
In second place, with 9.2 stars, was ‘The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis’ from The Big Bang Theory. This Christmas special received 55 per cent of the weighted average vote of 10 stars on IMDb.
To achieve the data, the TV team at OnBuy surveyed 3,256 fans and asked them to name their favourite sitcoms of all time.
From the results, the team selected the 49 sitcoms most cited and used IMDb to look at ratings for Christmas episodes and sitcom specials to rank the highest-rated.
To find the top episodes, they only included Christmas specials voted by more than 300 users on IMDb.
Lee Charmber, Psychologist and Wellbeing Consultant, told Express.co.uk: “Sitcoms have a special place in our entertainment world. We relate and buy into the storylines of the characters.
“They suffer and enjoy, have fears and desires, make mistakes and come to the rescue. They are a vehicle for delivering the theory of social sciences through stories that we can identify with.
“They provide something we can all relate to, that feeling of being a little bit dysfunctional in the search for and trying to reach our goals in life. There is something riveting about looking at the human condition through the lens of comedy.
“What makes sitcoms powerful at the moment is that while there is plenty of toil and trouble, they always give happy endings that remind you that things generally end positively.”