A Matter Of Loaf and Death pulled in 14.25m (53.3%) to BBC One between 8.30pm and 9pm. It peaked with a massive 15.88m (58.1%) at the end.
This year's Doctor Who Christmas special, 'The Next Doctor', had second place on Christmas Day with 11.71m and a 50.5% share in the 6pm hour. The audience was fairly solid throughout the hour, but jumped to 12.58m (51.6%) in the final five minutes.
Two episodes of EastEnders brought in 9.89m (40.6%) at 8pm and 11.47m (44.9%) an hour later. A new episode of The Royle Family was seen by 9.98m (41.7%) at 9.30pm.
The controversial Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special, won by Jill Halfpenny, had 8.57m (35%) in the 7pm hour. It outrated an hour-long edition of Coronation Street, which was ITV1's top programme of the day with 7.36m (30%).
Later, a Dancing On Ice Christmas special averaged a reasonable 5.2m (20.4%) between 8pm and 9.30pm, then TV bloopers show It'll Be Alright On The Night drew 3.8m (15.9%).
The return of veteran comedian Stanley Baxter for a new one-off special in Stanley Baxter: Now & Then was seen by 2.15m (11.8%) at 10.30pm. BBC One's reunion documentary Blackadder Rides Again had 5.58m (30.9%) over the same period.
The most-watched Christmas Day film was a rerun of Wallace & Gromit In The Curse of The Were-Rabbit, seen by 7.22m (39.8%) from 4.30pm. Shark Tale was also popular, averaging 4.69m (31.3%) post-Queen.
A rerun of the Blackadder 1988 Christmas special brought in 2.05m (8.4%) to BBC Two at 7pm, then a Dad's Army repeat notched up 2.7m (11.1%). Dragons' Den Around The World, a one-off programme looking at the 18 international variants of the format, drew 1.2m (4.6%) from 8.30pm.
Channel 4's top audience of the day was 1.71m (11.5%) for the second episode of Deal Or No Deal Christmas Star at 3.10pm. Stand-up show Alan Carr: Tooth Fairy Live pulled in 1.56m (8.9%) at 10.35pm, then Lee Evans XL Tour 2005 kept 1.36m (13.3%) until 12.40am.
Five managed just 587k (2.4%) for the romantic drama Memoirs of a Geisha at 6.45pm, then improved to an all-day high of 648k (3.7%) for the three-hour clip show Most Shocking Moments of the 21st Century.
The top multichannel audience of the day was 675k (5.4%) for behind-the-scenes programme Gavin & Stacey: 12 Days Of Christmas, shown on BBC Three at 11.30pm.
Overall, BBC One had an average primetime share of 41% (last week: 20.3%) while ITV1 averaged out to 20.9% (16.6%). BBC Two took third place with 7.1% (9.3%), followed by Channel 4 with 3.5% (10.6%) and Five with 2.3% (4%).
> Click here to see a ranking of the top 20 Christmas Day programmes
Ratings data supplied by Attentional