Doctor Who was the third most-watched programme of the day, behind soap opera EastEnders and sitcom The Royle Family, and achieved a 42.2% share of the total television audience.
Although the raw figure is down on the previous two years, it still makes The End of Time, Part One one of the highest-rating episodes of the series since it returned in 2005. An additional 340,000 viewers watched the programme on the BBC HD channel. If HD figures are added to the BBC One figures then both Doctor Who and The Royle Family got 10.4 million watching.
The day was a triumph for the BBC, with BBC One taking nine of the top ten Christmas Day spots.
On the digital channels Doctor Who Confidential had 0.58 million watching and was the fourth highest multi channel programme of the day.
Final figures, which will include those who record and watch the programme within one week, will be released by BARB in January.