Some 3.84m (a 16.1% share) watched the festive edition, hosted by Paddy McGuinness and featuring the likes of Keith Lemon and Joe Swash, between 7.45pm and 9pm.
ITV1 +1 added 288,000 for the programme, which struggled to pull in a sizeable audience for its latest series in the autumn.
Girls Aloud: Ten Years at the Top, an ITV documentary tracking the group's rise to fame, could only muster 2.3m (10.5%) afterwards.
Strictly Come Dancing topped the night with a huge 10.36m (43.8%) between 6.30pm and 8.15pm, then Merlin rallied to a new series high of 5.92m (25.7%).
Over on BBC Two, a tribute to the late Dad's Army star Clive Dunn attracted 2.25m (10.2%) at 9.15pm, prior to which a classic episode of the period sitcom averaged 2.79m (12.3%).
Channel 4's screening of movie Eclipse picked up 1.19m (6.1%) from 9pm.
If it hadn't been for the performance of festive film Mrs Miracle (1.21m/5.9%) earlier on, 5 would have been beaten by BBC Four.
A double helping of The Killing took 811k (3.7%) and 714k (3.8%) between 9pm and 11pm, topping the multichannel ratings.
Overall, BBC One thrashed ITV1 in primetime with 31% versus 11.9% (+1: 0.9%). BBC Two claimed third place with 8.2%, ahead of Channel 4's 4% (+1: 0.8%). BBC Four and Channel 5 shared fifth place with 2.7% (+1: 0.4%).
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional