Figures from the BBC reveal that across the year, iPlayer viewers requested to stream or download an episode of long-running soap Eastenders a record 234 million times, up 10 per cent on 2018.
2019 was a huge year for the residents of Albert Square, as they went through the siege of the Queen Vic, Walford East’s first-ever Pride march and the Christmas kidnapping of Keanu. That last storyline was at the heart of the Christmas day episode, which has now become EastEnders’ biggest ever episode on BBC iPlayer, with 2.14 million requests.
The Christmas day episode took the top spot from EastEnders’ 30th anniversary, when Lucy Beale’s killer was revealed in a special live episode, which was iPlayer’s previous best episode ever with 2.05 million requests.
The Christmas day episode also saw a vast 687,000 live requests on iPlayer, again the highest-ever for the programme.
Jon Sen, Executive Producer of EastEnders, said: “We are thrilled that EastEnders has had yet another extraordinary year on iPlayer. As EastEnders heads into its 35th year, we are planning some extremely exciting and unmissable moments so for our audience to be able to watch the show on iPlayer when and where they want means they don’t have to miss a minute of the drama.”
Dan McGolpin, Controller of Programming and iPlayer, added: “EastEnders is a fantastic iPlayer success story, and a great example of the way in which iPlayer is going from strength to strength. With a record-breaking year, the biggest episode ever, and a huge number of live requests for the Christmas day episode, EastEnders shows that iPlayer helps people to watch their favourite BBC shows how, when and where they want to.”