And over half a million viewers watched the special episode on New Year's Day.

Thomas is UK’s No.1 pre-school DVD of 2012

Thomas & Friends’ Blue Mountain Mystery was the most popular pre-school DVD of 2012 in the UK, according to the Official Charts Company.

The 60-minute animated special also aired on Channel 5’s Milkshake! on New Year’s Day, and 537,000 viewers tuned in to watch it.

Last year’s Thomas & Friends feature-length special, Day of the Diesels, drew 328,000. Both of these BARB Ratings figures are based on three-plus minutes continuous reach.

Hit Entertainment’s other pre-school properties includingMike the Knight and Fireman Sam also made up half of 2012’s top 20 selling UK pre-school DVDs.

Alison Homewood, Business Head at Hit Entertainment EMEA TV and Home Entertainment, said: “These phenomenal figures prove the power of the feature-length Thomas & Friends specials which continue to build year on year.

"Not only do they deliver fantastic DVD sales but also gain exceptional broadcast ratings, solidifying HIT’s position as one of the world’s greatest storytellers for pre-schoolers."

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