BBC One took seven of the day's top ten spots, led by 10.12 million viewers - a 44% share of the TV audience - for a 60-minute EastEnders in the 9pm hour.
ITV1's peak came for Coronation Street, which pulled in 9.41 million (41.2%) from 8pm. A celebrity edition of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? featuring Terry Wogan in the hotseat also fared well, drawing 6.31 million (28.7%) from 7pm to finish seventh place overall. The Booze Cruise 2: The Treasure Hunt averaged just 4.13 million (18.6%) between 9pm and 10.50pm.
The BBC's other successes included David Tennant's first outing as Doctor Who at 7pm (9.4 million, 42.7%), Ronnie Barker's final TV appearance in The Two Ronnies Christmas Sketchbook at 10pm (7.93 million, 38.3%) and the movie presentations of Shrek (6.69 million, 47.5%) and Toy Story 2 (6.48 million, 40.4%).
The Queen's speech managed a total audience of almost 8 million viewers at 3pm, including 6.18 million (45.6%) on BBC One and 1.7 million (12.6%) on ITV1.
BBC Two put up a strong showing in primetime, averaging 2.85 million (12.4%) for a new, all-star adaptation of The Importance of Being Earnest between 8pm and 9.30pm. Channel 4 had just 489,000 (2.1%) for the two-hour doco Tsunami: Where Was God? from 7.50pm but rose to 1.31 million (8.5%) for Tom Cruise's Jerry Maguire at 10pm. Five also had a good night, starting with 1.46 million (6.4%) for a repeat of the two-hour Greatest TV Comedy Moments at 8pm before dopping slightly to 1.37 million (7.6%) for National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
A Little Britain-themed night helped BBC Three to victory in multichannel homes with an average of 547,000 (3.8%) between 9pm and midnight. Sky One's four-hour Simpsons marathon averaged 408,000 (2.7%) from 5pm.
Other strong performers included the premiere of Shrek 2 on Sky Movies, with a total of 1.12 million viewers across the day, and E4's Lost premiere (378,000, 2.2%).
Click here to view Christmas Day's twenty top-rated programmes in full