More than 9m viewers watched the first episode of Call the Midwife's second series on BBC1 last night, according to overnight figures – with the audience reaching 10.1m at its peak.
An average of 9.3m nostalgia-hungry punters tuned in for the return of Jessica Raine, Miranda Hart et al as 1950s midwives – a 32% share of the audience for Call the Midwife's 8-9pm slot, and a record for the show.
Series one of Heidi Thomas's drama averaged 8.7m viewers, bowing out in February 2012 with 9.2m. These numbers made Midwife the biggest new drama on BBC1 for more than a decade.
Elsewhere on Sunday night, ITV edged the battle of the 9pm dramas, with Mr Selfridge attracting 5.9m viewers (22% share) to Ripper Street's 5.6m (21%), although the ITV figure includes +1 viewing. At the same time on C5, 2.2m viewers (8%) saw Celebrity Big Brother.
Dancing on Ice was seen by 7.2m people (27% share), with 5.5m (19%) coming back for the remarkably dramatic skate-off, shown opposite Call the Midwife.