More than 10 million people tuned in to watch Northampton’s Matt Smith bow out of Doctor Who on Christmas Day.
The final scene of the show, where Smith morphed into the new Time Lord Peter Capaldi, attracted 10.2 million viewers on BBC1.
The appearance of Capaldi, best known as the star of The Thick of It, was the single most watched moment of the festive schedule.
But the top rated show on Christmas Day was the sitcom Mrs Brown’s Boys, whose average audience of 9.4 million viewers knocked EastEnders from the soap’s traditional spot at the top of the festive tree.
BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore said: “Nothing brings the country together at Christmas quite like BBC1. Huge audiences shared the schedule on the nation’s favourite channel, winning four out of the top five most popular shows.
“Mrs Brown’s Boys took the top spot with 9.4 million viewers, and the arrival of Peter Capaldi created the biggest peak audience at 10.2 million in Doctor Who.”