From the Press Association: Nearly seven million people tuned in to see Matt Smith named as the next Doctor Who.
Doctor Who Confidential was broadcast on BBC One at 5.35pm on Monday and proved irresistible to 6.9 million fans who made it the most watched programme in its time slot.
BBC One Controller Jay Hunt said: "Nearly seven million people tuned in to watch the announcement that Matt Smith will be the 11th Doctor Who. "It showed just how compelling the show is for viewers of all ages."
Smith is the 11th Time Lord since the programme first aired in 1963. He replaces David Tennant at the helm of the Tardis, and is due to first appear on our screens as the revered doctor in 2010.
At just 26 he is the youngest ever doctor and, although relatively unknown, has appeared in Alan Bennett's play The History Boys at the National Theatre in London, and alongside Christian Slater in Swimming With Sharks in the West End.
He said he was delighted to take on the role, adding: "I've got this wonderful journey in front of me.
"I've got six months to build this Time Lord and that's such an exciting prospect."