Early on in the ceremony, 10.89m viewers (a 44.68% share) tuned in to watch the show live, logging one of the channel's biggest ever audiences.
[Paralympic Opening Ceremony - In Pictures]
Copyright: PA Images Anthony Devlin/PA WireThe figures don't include +1 or 4oD viewers, which take the ratings even higher.
Across the whole evening's coverage, an average audience of 7.56m (a 38.93% share ) tuned in between 8pm and 12.20am.
Stephen Hawking and Sir Ian McKellen were among the surprises involved in last night's Games opener.
Channel 4 has cleared its schedules for Paralympics Games coverage over the next fortnight.