1. ITV Report

Meridian's top ten most read stories

The Queen's Jubilee was one of the big stories in the south in 2012. But it didn't make the Meridian top ten list Photo: Press Association Images

It's been a year of memorable news stories in the south, with the Olympic Torch relay, the Queen's Jubilee celebrations and the 100 year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. All big stories widely seen on Meridian's new look website which was launched in March. But what were the top ten most read stories?

10. Flooding: Your Pictures

It's been a year of flooding for many parts of our region. We've had cameras and reporters out to film the worst of it and speak to those affected. And just as important has been the photos from our viewers - showing just how bad the flooding has been.

Flooding on the River Stour near New Road, Bournemouth Credit: Warren Bell

9. Body of missing teenager found

Police find the body of a teenage girl who went missing from her home in Banbury. The body of 14-year-old Molly O’Donovan was found in a wooded area near Foscote Rise.

Molly O’Donovan Credit: Thames Valley Police

8. Man arrested after car transporter overturns on A34

A man was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving, driving with an unsecured load and causing danger to other roads users, after an accident on the A34 near Whitchurch.

Overturned car transporter on the A34 Credit: Hampshire Police

7. Nick Herbert: "It's important police are allowed to have sex with activists."

Home Office Minister and Sussex MP said undercover police officers can start sexual relationships with suspected criminals if it means they are more plausible.

Nick Herbert, Home Office Minister, MP for Arundel & South Downs Credit: Press Association Images

6. Plans revealed for Disney-style theme park in Kent

A new Disney-like entertainment theme park could be coming to north Kent, with the announcement of plans to spend two billion pounds building a theme park on an 872 acre brownfield site on the Swanscombe Penninsula.

CGI image of proposed new Paramount theme park Credit: Promotional Image

5. P&O: 175 years of history

The Princess Royal reviewed the seven ships in P&O Cruises' fleet to mark the company's 175th anniversary. Thousands of people lined the waterfront at Southampton as the ships took the royal salute before departing on cruises.

The ships sailed into Southampton at dawn Credit: ITV Meridian

4. Shooting stars overhead tonight

It's almost as if they took place to celebrate the end of the Olympics - but in fact the celestial fireworks which were visible in the Meridian region are an annual astronomical event that dates back centuries.

The meteor shower appears to come from the constellation of Perseus Credit: NASA/JPL

3. The Olympic Flame in Kent

The Olympic Torch relay was a big event in the south. The Meridian team covered the journey through all 12 of our counties, with some help from viewers taking photos on the road. And the most popular county on the Meridian website was Kent.

All smiles at the Kent leg of the Torch Relay Credit: ITV Meridian

2. Gatwick Emergency Landing

Witnesses spoke of the dramatic turn of events that led to a plane with 300 passengers to make an emergency landing at Gatwick.

The Virgin Atlantic aircraft that made an emergency landing at Gatwick Credit: ITV Meridian

1. Downton Abbey: This Xmas & 2013

But the most popular story on the Meridian website for 2012 was the return of Downton Abbey for a Christmas special and a fourth series in 2013. The Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning drama is filmed at Highclere Castle on the Hampshire Berkshire border.

Downton Abbey is returning next year Credit: ITV