BBC One has reported its best start to the year in a decade.
Dramas including Sunday night smash Poldark and Last Tango in Halifax, along with live events such as Eastenders' live week and the Six Nations contributed to the channel's highest audience share since 2005.
BBC One held 23.3 per cent of the audience share across all hours, and a 25.2 per cent share at peak times.
Eastenders' live week, which celebrated the soap's 30th anniversary, was watched by 35 per cent of the population over the course of the week, and was the only programme to achieve 10 million viewers so far this year.
Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC One, said: "It's been an outstanding start to the year for programme-makers on the channel and their ambition has been in evidence throughout. I've been proud to watch a BBC One at the top of its game, bursting with creativity and modernity, which has brought the nation together and sparked the national conversation.
Moore also took the opportunity to announce that Cornish drama Poldark, with its consolidated series average of 8.1 million viewers, would return for a second series. The show's stars Aidan Turner (Ross Poldark) and Eleanor Tomlinson (Demelza Poldark) have already signed up for the new eight-part series, which will be based on books three and four of the Winston Graham novels.
BBC One's strong first quarter follows the channel's success at this year's RTS Programme Awards, where it took home five awards, including the prize for Soap and Continuing Drama for Casualty, and a trophy for Sarah Lancashire for her role in drama series Happy Valley.
By Pippa Shawley