Paul O'Grady Live, featuring guests including Coronation Street star Antony Cotton, mustered 3.07m (13.9%) at 9pm, an overall drop of nearly one million viewers on last week's opener, and in stark contrast to last year's
Christmas special, which averaged 5.5m.
Meanwhile, BBC One led the hour as Rhod Gilbert's turn on Have I Got News For You picked up 4.82m (21.7%), following which 3.75m (17.2%) watched a QI repeat at 9.30pm.
Davina McCall gameshow Million Pound Drop returned to Channel 4 with just 1.78m (10.9%) at 10pm (+1: 207k), while more Embarrassing Bodies interested 1.89m (8.6%) on the network from 9pm (+1: 207k).
Over on BBC Two, Gardeners' World and Monty Don's Italian Gardens had 2.16m (9.9%) and 1.58m (7.2%), then Frank Skinner's Opinionated amused 1.28m (6.6%) at 10pm.
Elsewhere, movie Made of Honour pulled in 1.08m (5.4%) for Channel 5 between 9pm and 11pm.
Overall, BBC One and ITV1 (+1: 0.5%) tied in primetime with 19.6% apiece, followed by BBC Two with 7.1%, Channel 4 with 6.6% (+1: 0.8%), and Channel 5 with 4.2%.
Not far off Channel 5 was BBC Three, which grabbed audiences of 843k (4.1%) and 493k for Raiders of the Lost Ark (9pm) and a Russell Howard's Good News catch-up (10.30pm).
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional