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Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary episode The Day Of The Doctor was a resounding hit with UK TV audiences, with the show reportedly scoring its highest viewing figures in years.

According to overnight ratings posted by science-fiction publication SFX, the 75-minute episode was watched by an average of 10.2m viewers – rising to a peak of 10.6m.

That makes it the most popular episode of the show since Matt Smith’s first festive outing, A Christmas Carol, which attracted ratings of 10.3m.

Despite its success, Strictly Come Dancing remained the most watched show of the night, narrowly beating the Time Lord with an audience of 10.5m.

However the Doctor did fight off competition from the X Factor’s tenth anniversary show – which was screened at the same time as the episode, and won an estimated audience of 7.6m.

As well as being screened on BBC One in both regular and 3D formats, The Day Of The Doctor was also shown in 93 countries around the world, from Argentina to Australia.

It was also shown in 3D at selected cinemas across the UK, although box office figures have yet to be released.

Ratings are also expected to rise significantly once iPlayer figures are taken into account.

The show featured Matt Smith and David Tennant united on screen as the two most recent incarnations of the Doctor.

They were joined by John Hurt as an earlier incarnation of the Time Lord – who made his first appearance in the series seven finale in May – while the next Doctor, Peter Capaldi, made a surprise fleeting appearance.

Former Doctor Tom Baker – who played the role from 1974-1981 – also surprised fans by showing up at the very end of the episode as a gallery curator who hinted at an unusual past.