Coronation Street was the UK's most-watched TV programme of 2003, thanks to its serial killer storyline.
Hillman's demise pulled in over 19 million viewers in February
Some 19.4 million viewers watched mass murderer Richard Hillman drown after killing several characters in the long-running ITV1 soap.
BBC One's EastEnders was second, with "Dirty" Den Watts' return in September attracting 16.7 million viewers.
The Only Fools and Horses Christmas special, traditionally a big festive draw, was third with 16.2 million.
In 2002 it topped the charts with 16.3 million viewers, while the previous year's special attracted over 20 million.
Two ITV1 Tonight specials, on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? cheat Charles Ingram and Martin Bashir's encounter with Michael Jackson, were fourth and fifth respectively.
TOP TV IN 2003
1. Coronation Street (ITV1) - 19.4m (62% share)
2. EastEnders (BBC One) - 16.7m (61%)
3. Only Fools and Horses (BBC One) - 16.2m (59%)
4. Millionaire Tonight Special (ITV1) - 16.1m (56%)
5. Michael Jackson Tonight Special (ITV1) - 15.3m (55%)
6. Heartbeat (ITV1)
- 12.8m (47%)
7. I'm A Celebrity... (ITV1)
- 12.7m (50%)
8. Film: Billy Elliot (BBC One) - 12.7m (45%)
9. Rugby World Cup Final (ITV1) - 12.3m (77%, above)
10. A Touch of Frost (ITV1)
- 12.2m (49%)
The final of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! was also a hit for ITV1, appearing at number seven in the chart with 12.7 million viewers.
It beat last month's Pop Idol final, which was the 15th most-watched programme with 10.9 million viewers.
England's Rugby World Cup victory over Australia was the ninth most-watched programme, pulling in 12.3 million people - 77% of all those watching TV at the time.
The most popular football match, Manchester United's exit from the Champions League at the hands of Real Madrid, had 10.5 million watching, and was 18th in the chart.
Nostalgic drama Heartbeat, BBC One's showing of the film Billy Elliot and crime series A Touch of Frost also featured in the top 10, compiled by the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (Barb).