Bill Tarmey's final episode, which saw his character reunite with his deceased wife Vera (Liz Dawn) in a dream-like sequence, pulled in a colossal 11.64m (44%) from 8.30pm - easily the highest-rated episode since February 2009.
Meanwhile, Jack's 74th birthday celebration in the Rovers managed an impressive 10.84m (44.5%) at 7.30pm.
Prior to that, a Holly-centred instalment of Emmerdale picked up 8.26m (36.2%), its best since the winter months.
EastEnders, which saw Harry seek revenge on Vanessa and Max, logged 9.79m (38%). BBC Three's 10pm repeat added 829k (4%).
Elsewhere, Malachy and Mercedes's peril in Hollyoaks grabbed the attention of 1.52m (6.2%), then E4's first look had 553k (2.4%).
Channel 5's Neighbours put in 871k (10.9%) at 1.45pm, and 1.47m (8.4%) at 5.30pm, while Home and Away notched up 412k (5.5%) at 2.15pm, and 989k (4.7%) at 6pm, after which Fiver's first look fetched 575k (2.5%).
Doctors's daytime showing, titled 'Sonata', appealed to 1.8m (22.6%).
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad