EastEnders tops New Year's Day ratings

Pam St ClementEastEnders was once again top of the ratings with a 70 minute episode to mark Pam St Clement’s final episode. Meanwhile the return of Sherlock to BBC One also drew big ratings.

EastEnders has once again topped the ratings – as it did on Christmas Day. A rare Sunday outing for the BBC One soap pulled in nearly 10 million viewers. The New Year’s Day episode was the final to feature Pam St Clement in her role of Pat Evans, though better known to audiences as Pat Butcher.

The actress announced her departure from the BBC One soap earlier this year after 26 years in the role. Last night’s 70 minute episode saw Pat’s family gathered around her with estranged son David Wicks (Michael French) returning to say goodbye to his mother. According to overnight figures the episode was seen by 9.7 million viewers. A further 740,000 watched the BBC Three repeat at the slightly later time of 11.20 – it usually airs at 10pm but then the soap doesn’t normally air on Sundays.

Crime drama Sherlock returned following EastEnders at 8.10pm with the second series launching with impressive ratings. The modern-day reworking of Arthur Conan-Doyle’s famous sleuth, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, had 8.7 million viewers. The second episode Absolutely Fabulous, reuniting Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley, had 7.1 million viewers. {jcomments off}