A RECORD-BREAKING 20.9million tuned in to BBC One to watch England’s 4-0 thumping of Ukraine.
That means the Euro 2020 quarter-final is the UK’s new most-watched TV live show of 2021.
The 20.9m peak pips the 20.6m from Tuesday – when the Three Lions booked their spot in the last eight by beating Germany.
And the figure means the BBC One broadcast had a whopping 81.8 per cent share of the audience on Saturday evening.
On top of that, a further 5.2m live streams of the drama in Rome were watched through the BBC Sport website and the iPlayer.
That took the overall viewing number to around 26.1m, just 1.4m less than the 27.5m who dialled in for England’s 2018 World Cup semi-final against Croatia, the biggest TV audience since the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony.
The Beeb confirmed the average for the Ukraine win was 19.8m over the course of the 90-minute goal-fest.
Harry Kane scored twice in Rome with Harry Maguire heading home emphatically before Jordan Henderson wrapped up the scoring with his first England goal.
Gary Lineker was joined in the Match of the Day studio by fellow Three Lions greats Alan Shearer, Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand, with the quartet coming in for plenty of praise for their coverage.
Host Lineker wrote on Twitter: “I sense this record will be beaten again soon.”
ITV have the broadcast rights for Wednesday’s semi-final at Wembley with the likes of Roy Keane, Gary Neville and Ian Wright on punditry duties.
In magnanimous fashion, Lineker added: “It’s time to pass the baton to @itvfootball. Good luck to @markpougatch and the team.
“I’m sure you’ll do your customary excellent job. Take us to the final.”
The BBC will show the first semi-final as Spain take on Italy on Tuesday.