Mrs. Brown's Boys tops the Christmas viewing charts again

Brendan O'Carroll's hit comedy has been the most popular show at Christmas for six years running

Watching unreasonable amounts of television at Christmas is a time-honoured practice, and the viewing figures this year show that looks to be a safe tradition for the foreseeable future. 

Hundreds of thousands of viewers in Ireland turned on their television sets and, according to figures from RTÉ, they were feeling in a festive mood when it came to programme choices.

Mrs. Brown's Boys, Brendan O'Carroll's hit sitcom, was once again the top of the pile for the sixth year in a row, with the special Christmas episode Mrs Brown's Boys: Mammy’s Forest pulling in 607,500 viewers, a 37% share of the audience on the day.

Father Ted's Christmas special, which has become a festive staple, was also a hit with audiences as 229,600 tuned in on Christmas Eve to enjoy the misadventures of Ted and Dougal once again, as Dermot Morgan's character claims the Golden Cleric award for helping a group of priests escape a lingerie section undetected.

Fair City was the most watched soap opera for Irish audiences, as 423,700 people tuned in to see what would happen with Paul's love triangle and Dermot's illness, amongst other storylines.

234,400 people watched Coronation Street on Christmas Day, while the St. Stephen's Day episode drew an average of 357,000 viewers.

While Christmas movies such as Frozen also proved popular (just under 334,000 people tuned in for that one), Daniel O'Donnell was a draw for audiences up and down the country. 

Daniel and Majella’s Christmas Message got an average of 78,000 viewers on TV3, while Christmas With Daniel, a special on RTÉ One on Christmas Eve, brought in an average of 342,600 viewers. 

TV3 also enjoyed notable success with a number of popular Christmas movies and cult classics, including Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which saw 183,000 people tuning in on average. The Wizard of OzThe Commitments, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off were also popular for the station.