The biannual fundraiser dominated primetime, bringing in a peak of 12.81m (52.4%) at 9.15pm.
The first hour of coverage averaged 8.24m (35.5%) from 7pm, then the audience grew to 10.43m (41.6%) at 8pm.
The 9pm hour was the most successful part of the night, with a colossal average of 12.3m (51%) tuning in.
At 10pm audiences switched over to BBC Two for a special Comic Relief edition of Top Of The Pops, which drew an impressive 6.73m (31.6%) over 35 minutes.
BBC One's continued coverage averaged 4.95m (51%) from 10.35pm until 2am.
ITV1 held up well for the first two hours of competition, as soaps Emmerdale and Coronation Street brought in healthy audiences.
At 9pm the ratings plummeted, however, with just 1.39m (5.7%) tuning in for the third episode of Moving Wallpaper. Sketch show Al Murray's Multiple Personality Disorder fared even worse, with 1.04m (4.4%) at 9.30pm.
After the 10pm news - seen by 1.4m (6.4%) - the latest episode of Pushing Daisies managed just 689k (4.1%).
BBC Two's Gardeners' World Special drew 1.29m (5.2%) in the 8pm hour, then the latest episode of school documentary Rocket Science interested 880k (3.8%).
Five held up well throughout primetime, with a reasonable week-on-week audience retention. Police Interceptors started the evening with 1.24m (4.9%) at 8pm, then NCIS brought in an impressive 2.17m (9%). Numb3rs followed with 873k (4.3%) at 10pm.
On Channel 4, A Place In The Sun: Home Or USA? took 891k (3.6%) for the 8pm hour, then Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares USA delivered 1.3m (5.4%), a week-on-week fall of around 1.4m.
BBC One dominated primetime with an average share of 40.7%. ITV1's strong early evening performance contributed to a decent 17.3% average for second place, while BBC Two was third with 9.1%. Five had 4.9% for fourth, leaving Channel 4 in last with 3.4% (+1: 0.5%).
Ratings data supplied by Attentional