Despite a dismal result by the United Kingdom, the Eurovision Song Contest pulled in a massive 10 million viewers on Saturday night.

The annual musical extravaganza drew a massive 50.8 per cent of the viewing share (10.9 million viewers) at its peak, as avid fans tuned in at 10.30pm to watch the results.

The number of people tuning in increased throughout the evening – at 8.30pm the average audience figure stood at 8.7 million.

It proves that despite the UK faring badly in the competition in recent years, it remains a ratings winner with the British public.

Scooch failed to set the competition on fire, racking up just 19 points to finish second from last, along with France. Only Ireland fared worse, finishing at the bottom of the scoreboard with just five points.

Scooch’s rendition of Flying the Flag (For You) was trounced by Serbia’s entrant Marija Serifovic who impressed with the ballad Molitva (The Prayer).

Marija racked up 268 points to push the bookmakers’ favourite, Ukrainian singer Verka Serdyuchka, into second place.

And Marija was given a hero’s welcome by around 30,000 fans when she returned to Serbia on Sunday night.

‘Ave, Marija’ read one of the banners in the crowd around the city hall in the Serbian capital of Belgrade where authorities organised the homecoming event.

“I won for Serbia, I won for all of you!” the 22-year-old singer said upon landing at Belgrade airport.

She sang the tune again from the balcony of the mayor’s office, while the crowd chanted “Serbia! Serbia” and some waved flags.

It was Serbia’s first participation as an independent country. Previously, it was a federal state of Yugoslavia and, in more recent years, part of the Serbia-Montenegro union.