'How Not To Cry At Weddings', which starred Peter Sallis in his 295th episode, attracted 5.31m (23.4%) to BBC One at 8pm, and a further 138k on BBC HD, making the long-running sitcom the second most-watched programme of the night.
Not far behind was Heartbeat, which delivered 4.92m (21.5%) to ITV1, benefitting from a Coronation Street lead-in. Martin Clunes's Horsepower followed at 9pm with 4.05m (17.7%) and 104k on ITV1 HD, keeping the majority of its audience from last week.
However, it was comprehensively beaten by fellow factual programme Secret Britain on BBC One, which interested 5.03m (22%). Prior to that, a repeat of The Antiques Roadshow gathered up 4.06m (17.5%).
BBC Two held up well, as Mountain Gorilla took 1.93m (8.4%) at 8pm - a week-on-week rise of over 200k - then at 9pm, Vexed had 1.6m (7%). Match of the Day 2 provided the channel with its highest figure of the evening, with 2.94m (16.6%) from 10pm.
Ultimate Big Brother dipped to 1.84m (8%), being broadcast at the earlier-than-usual time of 8pm. However, the reality show found an extra 530k (2.3%) on timeshift. Elsewhere on Channel 4, Inside Incredible Athletes could only muster 752k (3.4%) between 9pm and 10.30pm, after which a series low of 832k (5.3%) caught Alan Carr's Chatty Man.
Five's screenings of White Chicks and Panic Room grabbed respective audiences of 1.14m (5%) and 772k (6.6%) from 8pm and 10.15pm.
Overall, BBC One controlled primetime with 21.3% against ITV1's 16.7% (HD: 0.4%), BBC Two came in third with 9.1%, Channel 4 plummeted to 5.5% (+1: 1.2%), and Five was last with 4.4%.
Outside of peaktime, Formula 1: The Belgian Grand Prix averaged a strong 4.08m (36.1%) for three hours from 12.15pm.
Casino Royale scored the best multichannel audience of the day, with 764k (6.4%) for ITV2 from 10pm.
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional