Telly mad Brits watch 62 hours of festive TV over Christmas

News, Samsung, TV
Only Fools and Horses Xmas special, 1996. Image: BBC

Aside from turkey and presents, sitting down together on the sofa to enjoy a festive TV special is undoubtedly one of the most popular Christmas traditions across the nation.

A new survey looking into the nation’s Christmas TV viewing habits has shown that, on average, Brits currently spend 62 hours over the Christmas period from December 20 to January 2 watching TV, amounting to being glued to the box for almost four and a half hours every day.

Commissioned by Samsung UK, the research polling 2,000 Brits showed there will be five TV conversations had either discussing what to watch or talking about something they have seen, and two arguments over what to watch, with Dads most likely to keep hold of the prized TV remote.

The anticipated festive TV schedule is still paramount to the Christmas holiday, with nearly two-thirds of adults saying they ‘couldn’t go without’ their TV at Christmas, and 37 per cent saying TV is the most important part of Christmas. One in 10 will even pore over TV guides for an hour or more planning what they are going to watch. 

When it comes to the most popular TV content – including six films, two full box sets, four festive specials – The Queen’s Speech was deemed the biggest ‘must watch’ TV event of the season, followed by classics from Only Fools and Horses and the festive Coronation Street episodes. 

The research found that 40 per cent of people will research the upcoming programming, and planning what to watch on TV is one of their favourite parts of the Christmas period. Over half of people (62 per cent) also prefer staying in to watch TV rather than going out. For those who can’t miss a moment of Christmas Day TV, one in four will eat Christmas dinner with the TV on.

Some people may create the drama in the living room themselves, with one in five getting annoyed by ‘channel hopping’. Disagreeing over what to watch on the telly is the most likely Christmastime TV-related argument (26%) and nearly one in four people get annoyed when a family member talks when a plot twist is happening.

What is truly heart-warming however is that the Christmas classics still reign strong for festive film choices. The Macaulay Culkin smash-hit Home Alone – more than 30 years old – is still Brits’ favourite festive movie, picked by 30 per cent of people. It was followed by one in four people choosing the Will Ferrell comedy Elf, and beloved classic The Snowman. 

Says Deep Halder, Head of TV/AV Retail & Content Services, Samsung Electronics UK Ltd:

“Brits love to get the most out of their Christmas TV time, with 65% of people telling us they prefer staying in to watch TV over the festive period than going out.”

“Families across the UK will soon be starting the much-anticipated conversations around what they’ll be watching on their TVs this Christmas and with the whole family to please, having a festive TV-watching plan is a great idea to get into the Christmas spirit and avoid any festive TV disagreements.”

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Chris Price
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