BBC iPlayer has best ever week in the run up to New Year

While most of us were sleeping off the excesses of Christmas, BBC iPlayer was working harder than ever. The catch-up TV service broke records, recording its best ever week between 26 December and 1 January.

iPlayer received 69.3 million programme requests in the run up to New Year, more than any week in its history. In addition, December was its best ever month, with 281 million requests.

The biggest draw over the break was EastEnders - the BBC's weekly depress-athon made up half of the top ten. Its New Year's Day episode was the most-watched, generating 1.3 million requests.

It seems the sitcom is alive and well in the UK too. The second most watched show during the festive season was the Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special, and the Outnumbered Christmas special was third.

In fourth was the long-awaited return of Sherlock. The episode may have divided fans, with some loving the shocking developments to its main characters, and others finding it descending into action schlock, but that didn't stop droves of people going online to watch it.

As well as revealing what we watched on iPlayer, the BBC also shared data on how we watch it. Connected TVs, which includes smart TVs, set top boxes, streaming sticks and game consoles, were the most common way people used iPlayer, with 7.48 million unique users.

Tablets are second most used, with 4.19 million users, mobiles third with 3.6 million, and finally computers at 3.55 million.

Dan Taylor-Watt, Head of BBC iPlayer, says: "Christmas is always a popular time for people to watch programmes on BBC iPlayer, but it's fantastic to have had our best ever week in our best ever month over the festive season, with huge numbers coming to iPlayer to see the cliff-hangers of Albert Square, the drama of The Witness for the Prosecution, comedic antics from Mrs Brown's Boys and the thrilling return of Sherlock."

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