Up to 13.1 million viewers saw Ore Oduba and his dance partner Joanne Clifton lift the glitterball trophy and win the final of Strictly Come Dancing.
The BBC sports presenter beat finalists Danny Mac and Louise Redknapp to win the 2016 series.
Fifteen contestants had started the competition, with Oduba calling his victory "the most incredible experience of my life".
Saturday's final also marked Len Goodman's last appearance as a judge.
The final completed the series' run as the most-watched in the programme's 12-year history, with an audience share of 53.5%.
Viewing figures peaked at 13.1 million, with an average of 11.8 million people watching.
'Spirit of Strictly'
It was a grand final crammed with top-scoring dances from all three contestants.
Oduba and Clifton scored the first 40 of the final and topped the leaderboard, with the two other couples taking joint second.
But the final decision was down to voters at home.
Following Oduba's final dance - a reprise of week four's jive which earned him straight 10s - Goodman called him "the spirit of Strictly", as someone who had entered the series "with no dance background at all".
In his victory speech, a tearful Oduba said: "I've learned to dance, I've made a best friend, I've been on the show that I loved for 12 years."
The presenter thanked the Strictly production crew and the judges, and told his dance partner: "I love you with all of my heart. I'm so speechless. I just want to say thank you."
She told him: "You've become a dancer. You're a dancer."
During the live show, each couple performed three dances - their favourite of the series, a showdance and a third chosen by the judges.
Hollyoaks star Danny Mac has consistently scored well, and judge Bruno Tonioli called his top-scoring samba "one for the history books".
Former Eternal singer Redknapp had been the "most consistent dancer", according to Goodman.
This year's other contestants were also there to cheer on the finalists and perform one final group dance which included a reprise of Ed Balls' memorable routine to Psy's Gangnam Style.
At the final
By Lauren Turner, BBC entertainment correspondent, Elstree
It was always going to be an emotional night.
Not only was it the culmination of 13 weeks of hard work from the finalists and their partners to deliver the fun, fireworks and fancy footwork that has made this year's Strictly the most-watched in its history.
But it was also the last time Len Goodman wielded his scoring paddle - the last time we'd hear his "severrrrn!" or "it's a 10 from Len" - in the dance series, having been head judge since it began back in 2004.
Emotion was etched on the faces of the professional dancers as they performed a ballroom tribute in his honour.
On his final appearance, Goodman received a standing ovation from the crowd and his fellow judges.
Dancers and contestants from former series paid their tributes. Craig Revel Horwood called him "extraordinary" and a "very good friend".
Goodman said: "I will miss everything about the show."
Speaking on a special programme to be aired on Friday, host Tess Daly said Strictly had a "family atmosphere" and Goodman was "the daddy".
She added: "There's so many favourite Len moments, just working with him every week is such a treat, you know that little sparkle in his eye, that cheeky little glint he has.
"I love watching him dance when he comes onto the show at the beginning when we introduce him and he interacts with the audience, he's high fiving them, he's gliding past them, jiving up a storm."
Fellow host Claudia Winkleman said Goodman was the "king of all things ballroom and he's basically the king of Strictly".
She went on: "He is a master, so everyone totally respects him, both on front of camera but also backstage.
"So if Len wanders down and goes, 'Yeah, it was a good lift', everyone goes, 'Oh, Len liked it', because he is unfailingly honest but also incredibly knowledgeable."
Goodman's replacement as head judge is yet to be announced.