The opening ceremony to the 2012 London Olympic Games, overseen by director Danny Boyle, has become one of the most watched programmes in history, recording a peak audience of 26.9m.
The ceremony to mark the beginning of this year's game, named 'Isle of Wonder' was broadcast on BBC1 and BBC1 HD, while also allowing viewers to watch in 3D.
The cast for the lauded production, which cost £27m, included Kenneth Brannagh, Sir Paul McCartney, David Beckham,JK Rowling and Dizzy Rascal, as one as a host it Olympians and an appearance for a frail looking Muhammed Ali during the Torch Lighting procession.
The audience figures from 9pm averaged at 22.4m viewers, taking an audience share of 82.5 per cent and places it within the top 20 best viewed programmes ever televised.
Viewers in the US meanwhile, turned to Twitter vent their anger at broadcaster NBC for not screening the ceremony live.