The village soap secured 7.65m (35.2%) for an episode centred around Holly's selfish actions.
Coronation Street, however, was the most-watched soap of the night, managing respectable audiences of 9.41m (39.6%) for Becky and Steve's unwelcome visitors and 9.33m (37%) for Audrey's commitment to David.
Carol's suicidal behaviour in EastEnders was seen by 9.13m (36.4%), adding a further 910k (4.5%) for BBC Three at 10pm.
Elsewhere, the first instalment of a special week in Hollyoaks grabbed 1.08m (5.3%), and 253k (1%) at 9.30pm, then Hollyoaks Later returned to 447k (1.8%). Meanwhile, earlier in the day, medical drama Doctors averaged 1.36m (17.7%).
Channel 5's Australian soaps hour lost its momentum from last week: Neighbours put in 881k (11.3%) at 1.45pm, and 1.28m (8.5%) at 5.30pm, while Home and Away picked up 349k (4.9%) at 2.15pm, and 902k (4.9%) at 6pm, after which Fiver's first look had 423k (2.1%).
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad