The Christmas Special, The Return of Doctor Mysterio, had an estimated audience of 5.68 million viewers on BBC One, a share of 27.1% of the total TV audience, according to unofficial overnigfht figures.
Top of the tree this year was the Christmas edition of Strictly Come Dancing which had 7.17 million viewers, followed by The Great Christmas Bake Off with 6.23 million. Later in the evening Mrs Brown's Christmas Boys, which has topped the ratings in recent years, scored 6.13 million. The drama Call the Midwife had 6.06 million while soap EastEnders had 5.9 million.
ITV's highest rated programme was Coronation Street with 6.12 million. The Queen's Christmas Message had 5.19 million watching on BBC One and 2.95 million on ITV.
The overnight figures are an initial estimate. Final figures, including those who record the programme and watch within a week, will be released early next week.