The 25th Red Nose Day special peaked between 8.15pm and 8.30pm during Peter Kay's sit-down challenge.
> Red Nose Day raises record-breaking £75m for Comic Relief
The extravaganza, which also featured Jessie J, Simon Cowell and David Walliams, matched 2011's event by averaging 9.87m - a 40.6% audience share - between 7pm and 10.30pm.
Piers Morgan's Life Stories, which last week achieved its best ratings in two-and-a-half years, plummeted to 2.82m (11.4%) due to its Comic Relief clash, with the ITV programme adding 117,000 on +1 for an interview with Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli.
Channel 4 was unable to surpass the one million viewer mark in primetime, with movie The Bank Job grabbing 907k (4.2%) between 9pm and 11.15pm - adding 174k on timeshift.
Meanwhile, Channel 5 commanded a healthier 1.16m (4.7%) in the 9pm hour for US drama The Mentalist, and BBC Two took 4.48m (26%) at 10pm for Comic Relief: Funny for Money as BBC One joined BBC News at Ten.
Comic Relief: Funny for Money returned to BBC One at 10.35pm with an audience of 2.4m (35%) from then until it came off air at 2am.
Overall, BBC One dominated primetime with a huge 38.6% share, thrashing ITV's 17.7% (+1: 0.5%). BBC Two claimed third place with 6.9%, easily outperforming 5's 3.1% (+1: 0.2%) and 4's 3% (+1: 0.4%).
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional