A controversial documentary airing tell-all tapes of Diana, Princess of Wales,has secured 3.5 million viewers, making it the most-watched Channel 4 show this year.
The channel, which has been heavily criticised for broadcasting the tapes,enjoyed its best-rated overnight hit since Gogglebox in April 2016, and its most successful documentary since Benefit Street in February 2014.
It won 16.4 per cent of the audience share at 8pm on Sunday, going up against the athletics on BBC One and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on ITV.
Poldark, airing at 9pm on the BBC, won 4.9m viewers.
Diana: In Her Own Words peaked at 4.1m, with a Channel 4 spokesman confirming it was more than double the usual viewing figure for the Sunday night slot.
The programme, which was given two stars by the Telegraph, saw tapes made by Diana’s voice coach Peter Settele broadcast for the first time in the UK.
The tapes were never intended to be seen in public and since the princess’s death have been the subject of lengthy legal battles and accusations of huge betrayal.
The programme already been strongly criticised by royal biographers, and Rosa Monckton, one of Diana’s closest friends, said it was a “betrayal of her privacy”.
But Channel 4 said it gave the Princess a voice and placed it “front and centre” in the run-up to the 20th anniversary of her death in a car crash in Paris on August 31 1997.
The documentary featured Diana speaking candidly and informally about her upbringing, her courtship with the Prince of Wales, her troubled marriage and her public life.