Only Fools and Horses is most watched TV show of all time in UK

Can you believe that it’s been 80 years since TV started in the UK? The Press Association has celebrated by listing which shows most captured the nation’s hearts - also its eyeballs - and the number one spot may be more recent than you think…

The Press Association looked at the biggest viewing figures over the past 80 years, and found that classic sitcom Only Fools and Horses was the biggest draw. More than 24 million people turned on BBC One in 1996 to watch Del Boy and Rodney finally achieve wealth, after Del Boy sells a valuable watch.

The show appears four more times in the top 20, joined by other famous shows including the famous Morecombe and Wise Christmas Show of 1977, the 1995 Panorama interview with Princess Diana and the episode of Dallas that revealed who shot JR Ewing.

The TV audience has become increasingly fragmented over the last few years, with pay TV services, extra Freeview channels, catch-up TV and on demand services all conspiring to split up the audience. Unsurprisingly then, there's nothing in the list from the last 15 years - not even Bake Off.

The oldest show in the list is a 1963 episode of the Royal Variety Performance, which attracted 21.20 million people. Probably helped by a little band called the Beatles performing - you may have heard of them.

The Royal Variety Performance us actually a regular entrant on the list, appearing four times. At its peak, it attracted nearly 23 million viewers - as a point of comparison, last year it achieved just over five million.

The full list is as follows:

1. Only Fools And Horses (BBC1, December 29 1996): 24.35 million

2. To The Manor Born (BBC1, November 11 1979): 23.95 million

3. The Royal Variety Performance (ITV, November 19 1967): 22.80 million

4. Panorama (BBC1, November 20 1995): 22.77 million

5. The Royal Variety Performance (ITV, November 14 1965): 21.70 million

6. Dallas (BBC1, November 22 1980): 21.60 million

7. To The Manor Born (BBC1, November 9 1980): 21.55 million

8. The Mike Yarwood Christmas Show (BBC1, December 25 1977): 21.40 million

= Coronation Street (ITV, January 2 1985): 21.40 million

10. Only Fools And Horses (BBC1, December 25 2001): 21.35 million

11. Only Fools And Horses (BBC1, December 27 1996): 21.33 million

12. Only Fools And Horses (BBC1, December 25 1996): 21.31 million

13. The Morecambe And Wise Christmas Show (BBC1, December 25 1977): 21.30 million

14. The Royal Variety Performance (ITV, November 10 1963): 21.20 million

= The Silver Jubilee Royal Variety Gala (ITV, December 4 1977): 21.20 million

16. Bread (BBC1, December 11 1988): 20.95 million

17. The Benny Hill Show (ITV, March 14 1979): 20.85 million

18. Coronation Street (ITV, December 18 1980): 20.80 million

19. Just Good Friends (BBC1, December 21 1986): 20.75 million

20. Sale Of The Century (ITV, November 19 1977) 20.60 million

= Coronation Street (ITV, January 9 1985): 20.60 million

= Coronation Street (ITV, January 16 1985): 20.60 million

Source: AOL

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