BBC1’s dynamic duo of Miranda and Mrs Brown win New Year while ITV1 has an impressive Sunday

There’s still a truckle of cheese in my fridge. Apart from Christmas, when does anyone ever have truckles of anything? Sometimes it seems we’re caught up in a literary timetravelling incident, trapped in a Dickens’ novel. “This yuletide, the truckle of cheese is being delivered along with my gentleman’s relish in time for a spot of wassailing and a large goose.” Say that at any other time of the year and you’d probably be arrested.

Anyway, as the TV schedules are very keen to show, it’s all behind us now, so time to get on with the year. And lo, the new line-ups begin to take shape, with the weekend in the vanguard.

After watching the Twitter-kicking of Splash! on Saturday night, ITV would be forgiven if it gave the micro-blogosphere a large goose up the truckle when the ratings turned up. And one hopes ITV drama will get a discount on shoes from a certain department store after Sunday’s impressive start.

As 2013 was heralded at midnight and triskaidekaphobics hid, as they will have to for a year, more than 20 million were watching TV. Of those, 13.6 million/68% watched London’s fireworks extravaganza on BBC1 at its peak, more than a million up on last year.

In 7pm-10.30pm peaktime on New Year’s Day, 26.5 million people sat unmoved in front of some kind of telly; marginally more than on Christmas Day. BBC1’s dynamic duo, Miranda at 9pm (9million/33%) and Mrs Brown’s Boys at 9.30pm (8.1 million/30%), easily defeated ITV1’s Gary Barlow And Friends’ 3 million/11% (460,000 +1).

BBC1’s latest natural history series, Africa, launched on Wednesday at 9pm with a hefty 6.5 million/25% following Holby City’s 4.4 million/18%. Opposite from 8pm, ITV1’s reliable Midsomer Murders managed 5.2 million/20% (411,000 +1).

BBC1’s Waterloo Road returned at 8pm on Thursday with 3.9 million/16%, well behind ITV1’s Emmerdale’s 6.2 million/ 26% (350,000+1) but ahead of the new Nursing The Nation at 8.30pm (2.9 million/13%;200,000 +1).

At 9pm, BBC1’s DIY SOS: The Big Build (4.5 million/18%) defeated the first of ITV1’s two-part documentary Trouble Abroad (2.8 million/12%; 222,000 +1).

Much was new on Saturday; BBC1’s line-up of Animal Antics at 6pm (3.1 million/15%) and Richard Hammond’s Secret Service (2.8 million/12%) fell short against ITV1’s FA Cup coverage (4.8 million/24%; 90,000 +1 from 4.30pm).

The launch of BBC1’s Britain’s Brightest, scheduled at 7.10pm to match the end of the game, achieved 4.9 million/21%. Growing throughout, it peaked at 5.9 million/24% at 8.10pm. But ITV1’s Splash! began the better at 7.20pm with 5.5 million/23% (189,000 +1) and it was pleasingly consistent through the 90 minutes. Next week will be the key.

At 6.15pm on Sunday, ITV1’s Dancing On Ice returned with 7.7 million/31% (300,000 +1). At 7.45pm, All Star Family Fortunes had 6.4 million/24% (150,000 +1). At 8.30pm, The Skate Off achieved 7 million/25% (224,000 +1). From 7pm, Countryfile (6.1 million/23%) and Antiques Roadshow (6.1 million/22%) kept BBC1 competitive. At 9pm, ITV1’s Mr Selfridge’s 6.9 million/27% (522,000 +1) dented BBC1’s Ripper Street’s good start; its still decent 5.4 million/20% was 600,000 behind last week’s launch.