These are the most popular Christmas TV specials of all time - ranked by viewers

12 Days of Christmas competition

To celebrate the countdown to Christmas we have launched a special festive competition to help you have a happy New Year.

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Five winners of our 12 Days of Christmas winter word search will receive an engraved, hand-crafted Bailey bracelet worth £230 and a Cockburn’s Port ‘big night in’ hamper.

All you have to do is find the letter included in the special 12 Days of Christmas content running each day in the Christmas sections of our top JPIMedia websites from December 13-24 and put them together to find a suitable word for this special time of year.

Although we know the 12 Days don’t begin until December 25 we were so excited that we thought we would start the celebrations early.

Christmas specials are often the highlight of TV schedules during December, with some programmes which date back decades still watched every year.

From Only Fools and Horses to The Office and The Vicar of Dibley, some of the UK’s favourite shows have aired special episodes at Christmas, but which of these are our favourite?

Only Fools and Horses tops the list

With filming for many TV shows and films halted this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s likely that this year’s Christmas schedule will feature repeats of popular festive favourites.

Direct Packaging Solutions has compiled a report using data from IMDB in order to reveal the highest rated Christmas episodes of favourite TV shows.

The Time on Our Hands episode of Only Fools and Horses comes out on top, with an IMDB rating of 9.6/10.Ranking in second place, is the The Office Christmas Special PT2 (UK) episode, with an IMDb rating of 9.5/10.

Another Only Fools and Horses episode, Heroes and Villains, also ranks in the list, taking third place as one of the nation’s favourite Christmas TV specials.

These are the top 30 Christmas TV Specials, according to their IMDB rating:

  1. Only Fools and Horses – Time on Our Hands - 9.6/10
  2. The Office Christmas Special PT2 (UK) - 9.5/10
  3. Only Fools and Horses – Heroes and Villains - 9.4/10
  4. Downton Abbey - Xmas at Downton - 9.1/10
  5. Black Mirror – White Christmas - 9.1/10
  6. Father Ted – A Christmassy Ted - 9/10
  7. The Vicar of Dibley – The Christmas Lunch Incident - 9/10
  8. Mr Bean – Merry Christmas Mr Bean - 9/10
  9. The Office – Christmas Party (US) - 8.9/10
  10. Peep Show – Seasons Beatings - 8.9/10
  11. Seinfeld – The Strike - 8.8/10
  12. The OC – The Best Christmukkah Ever - 8.7/10
  13. Call the Midwife – Christmas Special - 8.7/10
  14. Friends – The One With The Holiday Armadillo - 8.5/10
  15. Glee – A Very Glee Christmas - IMDB rating: 8.5/10
  16. Dr Who – A Christmas Carol - IMDB rating: 8.5/10
  17. Gavin and Stacey – Christmas Special (2019) - 8.4/10
  18. Gilmore Girls – Forgiveness and Stuff - 8.4/10
  19. Alan Partridge – Knowing Me, Knowing Yule - 8.3/10
  20. The Simpsons – Roasting on an Open Fire - 8.2/10
  21. The Snowman - 8.2/10
  22. Modern Family – Undeck the Hall - 8.1/10
  23. Christmas with The Royle Family - 8/10
  24. Blackadder – Christmas Carol - 8/10
  25. Cheers – Cheers Christmas - 7.9/10
  26. Scrubs – My Own Personal Jesus - 7.9/10
  27. 30 Rock – Christmas Special - 7.8/10
  28. Wallace and Gromit – A Grand Day Out - 7.8/10
  29. New Girl – LAXmas - 7.6/10
  30. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – Deck the Halls - 7.5/10