By the end of just its second series, 2point4 Children was given a well-deserved Christmas slot in 1992. It aired on the 22nd December, the day before Waiting For God‘s first festive special, and was watched by 9.5 million people. To put that in some perspective, a repeat of The Good Life that same week was seen by 10.3 million, a repeat of Keeping Up Appearances was watched by 10.4 million, and Sitting Pretty got 10.9 million. The most watched Christmas sitcom was Birds Of A Feather with 16.9m, while Waiting For God attracted 8.4 million viewers.
I’d say that was a respectable audience, but the following year, the show was given a less enviable slot on the 20th December. The cast didn’t even get to dance in this.
There was this nice little write-up though.
With the third series ending with an audience of nearly 10 million, the BBC may have been a little disappointed that the festive edition was seen by 9.12 million (Birds Of A Feather attracted 19.39m).
In 1994, the show found a much bigger audience, possibly due to a run of summer repeats, beginning its fourth series as the most watched sitcom of the week with 13.42 million viewers. Perhaps because of this, the BBC gave over a coveted Boxing Day slot for that year’s special.
Given that big lead-in from Albert Square, it was only topped in the sitcom stakes by One Foot In The Grave.
1995 saw a consolidation of its audience, and Bill and Ben enjoyed a Christmas Eve festive edition this time round.
The final Christmas special, Two Years Before The Mast, followed directly on from series six, which had debuted in November, and was another Boxing Day helping.
For the best, and deepest, of dives into 2point4 Children I can’t recommend enough Don’t Slam Your Podcast.