Almost six million viewers tuned in to see the Christmas Day episode of Downton Abbey, which was largely filmed in Alnwick.
It was the second highest rating for ITV on December 25, behind Coronation Street, which pulled in 6.6million festive viewers.
Northumberland tourism bosses will be delighted that 5.8million Downton fans saw Alnwick Castle and the town looking resplendent and, with many more watching recordings of the show, they will be hoping it will give the area a boost in visitor numbers.
But the BBC won the Christmas Day ratings war hands down, with Mrs Brown’s Boys shining at the top of the tree, with 7.6million tuning in.
The Beeb dominated the top 10 most-viewed Christmas Day programmes, while Downton Abbey was in eighth overall:
1 Mrs Brown’s Boys (BBC One) 7.6million;
2 EastEnders (BBC One) 7.55million;
3 Strictly Come Dancing (BBC One) 7million;
4 Call The Midwife (BBC One) 6.8million;
5 Miranda (BBC One) 6.7million;
6 Coronation Street (ITV) 6.6million;
7 Doctor Who (BBC One) 6.3million;
8 Downton Abbey (ITV) 5.8million;
9= The Queen (BBC One) 5.7million (another 2.1million watched on ITV);
9= Emmerdale (ITV) 5.7million.
Pictures of the filming, which caused a great deal of excitement in Alnwick for two weeks at the end of July and beginning of August this year, can be seen in the attached slideshow.