Some 8.9m, or 36% of the total viewing audience, tuned in to the BBC One show from 9pm. The Apprentice has been performing strongly throughout its fourth run with the previous series high, of 7.5m, set just last week. The finale peaked with 10.3m as McQueen was named the winner.
BBC Two spinoff Apprentice: You're Fired! was watched by 4.6m (21%) from 10pm then, back on BBC One at 10.40pm, 5m (31%) saw Sir Alan and McQueen interviewed by Adrian Chiles.
BBC One controller Jay Hunt said: "Over 10m people watched the moment when Sir Alan chose his Apprentice. It's fantastic that a show with business at its heart can become unmissable television for such a large audience."
Competitors to The Apprentice coverage trailed by some distance. BBC Two's Euro 2008 match drew 3.7m (16.5%) from 7.30pm while 3.1m (12%) watched Britain's Biggest Babies on ITV1 from 9pm.
In the same slot on Channel 4, River Cottage Spring attracted 2.1m (8.5%) and Five's The Hotel Inspector Revisits was seen by just 502,000 (2.1%).
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