Boris Johnson’s address to the nation was watched by more than 25 million viewers, according to overnight figures.
The Prime Minister placed the UK on lockdown to tackle the coronavirus with the broadcast, threatening police fines for anyone who ignores new measures.
The unprecedented address, aired on BBC One, ITV, Channel 4, Sky and others was watched by at least 25.2 million.
It beat the highest TV audience measured in the last decade (24.5 million) for the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics.
The figure is more than double the number (11.6 million) who tuned into the Gavin And Stacey special on the night it aired.
The BBC said that 15.4m people tuned in to see the Prime Minister’s statement on BBC One.
A further 2.5 million watched on the News Channel.
There were also almost 600,000 requests on BBC iPlayer.
An average of 5.7 million watched on ITV, while on Channel 4 the figure was 1.7 million.
Sky News experienced a “record-breaking” day, according to a spokesman, and an average audience of 1.8 million watched the channel around the time of the address.
The BBC said that a BBC News special that followed the address was watched by 14.5 million on BBC One, and 2.2 million on the News Channel.