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Mrs Brown's Boys takes top Christmas TV spot

Sitcom Mrs Brown's Boys was the most viewed television show on Christmas Day beating Coronation Street and Doctor Who into second place.

Brendan O'Carroll's comedy was the most viewed show on Christmas Day. Credit: Ian West/PA Wire

EastEnders, which used to regularly top the Christmas viewing figures, ended up in fourth place with Strictly Come Dancing's Christmas special completing the top five.

Mrs Brown's Boys - the bawdy show created by Irish comic Brendan O'Carroll, which has become a surprise ratings hit - pulled in an average audience of 9.4 million.

However, Doctor Who - which included Matt Smith's regeneration into the new doctor Peter Capaldi - enjoyed the biggest peak audience of 10.2 million.

Top ten Christmas TV shows: 1. Mrs Brown's Boys 9.4m. 2. Doctor Who 8.3m. 2. Coronation Street 8.3m. 4. EastEnders 7.8m. 5. Strictly Come Dancing 7.3m. 6. Call the Midwife 7.1m. 7. Downton Abbey 7m. 8. Toy Story 3 6.3m. 9. ITV News 5.9m. 10. Emmerdale 5.8m.

Giamatti joins Downton Abbey for Christmas special

Oscar-nominated actor Paul Giamatti will be joining the cast of Downton Abbey for the Christmas Day special.

Paul Giamatti, who gained international recognition for his role in 2004 comedy Sideways, will appear in Downton Abbey's Christmas special. Credit: PA

The American star, who was nominated for the best supporting actor Oscar for his role in boxing drama Cinderella Man, will play Lady Grantham's brother.

Not a lot has been given away about Giamatti's role in the ITV drama, but producers have let slip the Christmas Day episode will revolve around Lady Rose MacClare's (Lily James) entry into London's high society.

Downton Abbey's Christmas special will pick up six months after series four left off. Credit: PA

Shirley MacLaine returns as Lady Grantham's mother Martha and James Fox joins the cast as aristocrat Lord Aysgarth.

The two-hour episode of the award-winning ITV series, which will be shown at 8.30pm on Christmas Day, picks up the story six months on from the end of series four.


First TV pictures from inside Court of Appeal broadcast

Television pictures of a live case at the Court of Appeal have been broadcast for the first time since cameras were banned from the vast majority of courtrooms in 1925.

An image from the first few minutes of footage from the Court of Appeal

The landmark footage did not include any sound since the case in question involved sensitive details relating to a child.

The defendant was not in shot since the cameras in the court will focus on the lawyers' arguments and judges' summing up, decision and - in criminal cases - sentencing remarks.

Filming ban to be lifted at Royal Courts of Justice

A near-90-year ban on filming in court will be lifted today in what has been hailed as a "landmark moment for justice and journalism".

A near-90-year ban on filming in court will be lifted today. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

For the first time, cameras will be able to broadcast from one of the highest courts in the land, the Court of Appeal.

After years of campaigning by broadcasters BBC, ITN, Press Association and Sky News, cameras have been placed in five courtrooms at the Royal Courts of Justice.

Cameras will be allowed to film at the Court of Appeal

From tomorrow cameras will be allowed to film at the Court of Appeal. After 90 years, the ban on filming proceedings there has been lifted. We will be able to see the legal arguments and the judge's ruling. But the defendants and witnesses will not be filmed.

And it could pave the way for cameras in other Courts.

ITV News' Paul Davies reports:


ITN chief: 'Filming in courts has been a long time coming'

Footage film in the court room can be used in a news and current affairs context only and is banned from being used in other genres such as satire, entertainment or commercial use in advertising.

The crest behind the judges in the Court of Appeal Credit: ITV News

ITN chief executive John Hardie said: "Filming in courts has been a long time coming and is for the benefit of open justice and democracy. Never before will television viewers have had such an insight to justice being seen to be done."

Camera positions are to be operated by the court video journalist with both legal and journalistic qualifications.

Safeguards will protect the administration of justice

Safeguards have been put in place to protect witnesses, victims and the administration of justice while ensuring cameras in the courtroom do not disrupt proceedings.

A 70-second delay will act as one of a number of safeguards. Credit: ITV News

Some cases will be broadcast live with a 70-second delay to allow the removal of anything that contravenes broadcasting regulations or standard court reporting restrictions - such as contempt of court laws and court orders.

In addition, appeals against conviction which might result in a re-trial will only be shown once the case is decided, and the judge can order no filming or broadcasting if it is in the interests of justice.

Judge: 'Wider audience' will understand and see courts

The top judge in England and Wales has said that allowing cameras in courtrooms will allow a "wider audience" to understand and see for themselves the workings of the legal process.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, said: "My fellow judges and I welcome the start of broadcasting from the Court of Appeal.

"The Court of Appeal has, of course, been open to the public and to journalists for a long time.

Lord Dyson, Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling and the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales Sir John Thomas (R). Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire/Press Association Images

"The change in the law which is now coming into force will permit the recording and broadcasting of the proceedings of the Court of Appeal.

"This will help a wider audience to understand and see for themselves how the Court of Appeal goes about its work."

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