Affectionately known as The Millies, the awards ceremony - which had a star-studded guest list - grabbed a respectable 4.97m (20.9%) between 9pm and 10.30pm, up 410k on last year's event.
Meanwhile, BBC One's comedy lineup of Have I Got News For You and Live At The Apollo mustered 5.88m (23.4%) and 4.65m (19.4%) for BBC One.
Versus last night's soaps, The One Show, A Question Of Sport and QI had 4.72m (20.4%), 3.73m (15.5%) and 3.6m (13.9%) for BBC One, while ITV1's Countrywise Kitchen managed 3.74m (15.1%) at 8pm.
Over on BBC Two, Natural World and John Sergeant On Tracks Of Empire interested 1.67m (6.6%) and 1.54m (6.3%), then a repeat of Never Mind The Buzzcocks' Doctor Who special entertained 1.12m (5.1%).
Channel 4's The Million Pound Drop Live logged 1.06m (4.1%) at 8pm, adding 430k on timeshift, before The Event held 757k (3.1%) at 9pm, after which the recently recommissioned Peep Show amused 760k (3.4%), and Robert's Web took 598k (3.2%) at 10.30pm.
Emergency Bikers returned to Channel 5 with 1.1m (4.3%), The Mentalist followed at 9pm with 2.1m (8.6%), and Law & Order: SVU fetched 1.11m (5.3%).
Overall, ITV1 won primetime with 27.2% against BBC One's 22%, BBC Two claimed third place with 6.8%, followed by Channel 5 with 4.9% and Channel 4 with 3.3% (+1: 0.8%).
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional