02/01/2016 17:32 GMT | Updated 02/01/2017 05:12 GMT

Sherlock Sniffs Out 8.4m Viewers For Christmas Special

TV drama Sherlock attracted 8.4 million viewers, the highest overnight audience of the festive season across all channels with the exception of the New Year's Eve fireworks on BBC One, which was watched by more than 12 million, the BBC said.

The Abominable Bride, the Christmas special of the hit BBC One detective show, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, had a 34.7% audience share in its slot on Friday night, from 9pm to 10.30pm.

It has been a bumper Christmas and new year for viewers of popular dramas. The final episode of ITV show Downton Abbey won the battle of the Christmas Day ratings as 6.6 million tuned in to wish a fond farewell to the Crawleys.

With peak figures of 7.1 million, the two-hour episode of Julian Fellowes's drama just pipped the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special, won by Harry Judd, which was the BBC's most-watched show of Christmas Day with a peak of seven million viewers and an average of 6.5 million.