British audiences are disappointed with the annual Christmas television output, a new survey has revealed.

A poll of 2,000 viewers by media website Utalk found that the majority of viewers feel let down by the Yuletide offerings of UK TV channels.

More than half of respondents (57 per cent) said Christmas TV was "not as good as it used to be" while just nine per cent deemed the schedules as "excellent festive entertainment".

And though British TV networks typically plan high-profile storylines for their soap operas, a separate poll revealed that most viewers would prefer to watch a blockbuster film, with the Harry Potter movies ranked as the most desired Christmas choice.

The study of favourite programmes was carried out by YouGov for media firm ANT Software and showed that many British viewers wish to spend their Christmas in the company of Trotters Independent Traders - Only Fools and Horses was named the second most wanted TV programme.

After 24 per cent of respondents to the Utalk survey branded Christmas TV as "completely overrated", the company's founder Niall McKinney explained that UK audiences have changed dramatically.

"The chocolate box image of families crowded around their TV sets next to a roaring log fire simply doesn't exist in today's Britain," he explained.

"The internet has transformed the way we spend our time and, Christmas Day or not, many of us still like to feel connected by going online to check in with distant friends."

Most Wanted Christmas TV

1. Blockbuster movie (Harry Potter)
2. Only Fools and Horses
3. Classic film (Mary Poppins)
4. Vicar of Dibley
5. Coronation Street
6. EastEnders
7. Morecambe and Wise
8. The Simpsons
9. The Queen's speech
10. Christmas Top of the Pops

11/12/2007 15:41:34