New Year fireworks watched by 10 million viewers on BBC One

More than 10 million people celebrated the arrival of 2021 by tuning in to BBC One for London’s spectacular fireworks and light display.

The 10-minute show used 300 drones to “paint” the sky with tributes to NHS staff and notable figures from 2020.

An average audience of 10.75 million tuned in for the display.

Despite strict coronavirus restrictions keeping people at home, the figure was slightly lower than 2020, when 11.18 million watched the celebrations.

BBC Scotland had it’s own Hogmanay special, hosted by Susan Calman, which was watched by an average of 1.05 million people, peaking at 1.3 million at midnight.

Up to 100,000 revellers usually gather on the banks of the River Thames for London’s New Year fireworks display – but this year, the streets were virtually deserted as most people obeyed the capital’s Tier 4 lockdown rules.

The fireworks display spanned the length of the Thames, with fireworks launched from the O2 Arena and Tower Bridge and a light display on The Shard.

Amid the fireworks, several images filled the sky – including the NHS logo encased in a love-heart, while a child’s voice said “Thank you NHS heroes”.

There was a special mention for Captain Sir Tom Moore, who raised £33m by walking in his back garden. The drones formed an outline of his figure, standing behind his walking frame, and giving a thumbs-up.

Viewers also saw the clenched-fist symbol of the Black Lives Matter movement, and a humorous reference to one of 2020’s most familiar sights for people who have worked from home – the icon of a microphone, accompanied by the phrase “You’re on mute”.

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