Shortt cut to success 750,000 tune into Killinaskully
TO hell with the begrudgers, 'Killinaskully' proved once again to have record-breaking pulling power with the public, with 757,000 viewers tuning in to watch the Christmas Day special.
While sometimes derided by the critics, the programme -- which boasts more village idiots than anything else on television -- also attracted more viewers than anything else on television, or at least on the Irish channels, bar the news.
The show, written by the comedian Pat Shortt and broadcast on RTE One, attracted 45pc of audience share on the big day.
The programme was narrowly beaten by RTE's Nine O'Clock news on Christmas night which attracted 760,000 viewers.
Figures for TV3 were unavailable.
The national broadcaster also proved to be a big draw for soap addicts with 'EastEnders' and 'Fair City' on RTE One.
The two episodes of 'EastEnders' attracted 672,000 (39pc share) and 640,000 (39pc share) respectively, while 520,000 (39pc share) tuned into to watch the one-hour 'Fair City Christmas' special featuring Shane MacGowan.
Meanwhile, RTE's two big Christmas movie premieres, 'Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire' and 'King Kong 'attracted 400,000 and 367,000 viewers respectively.
Other seasonal successes for the team at Montrose included the screening of 'Walk the Line' on Christmas Eve which was watched by 452,000 viewers, while Six-One news was the highest rating programme on the night with 453,000 viewers.
On St Stephen's Day, the 'Killinaskully' fans were back for more, with 490,000 tuning in to catch the second installment -- 'The Emergency'.
The Network Movie Premieres of 'The Da Vinci Code' and 'Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest' attracted 343,000 and 349,000 viewers respectively.
It was also a big night for RTE Two with 'Podge & Rodge's Christmas Craic' featuring Twink attracting 271,000 viewers while 220,000 viewers tuned in to catch Singin' Bernie Walsh and friends in 'An Audience with Katherine Lynch'.
But all television successes were eclipsed by the popularity of animated duo 'Wallace and Gromit'. An incredible 14.3 million people tuned into BBC One to watch the new release, 'A Matter Of Loaf & Death', the biggest audience for any show screened on BBC this year.