Up to nine million people watched Portuguese transsexual Nadia Almada win this year's Big Brother reality television show.
Nadia Almada received 3.9 million, or 74%, of the public vote
An average audience of 8.3 million tuned in to watch Nadia sweep to victory in the fifth series.
That figure swelled to nine million - more than 50% of the TV audience - by the time the show ended at 2300 BST.
The ratings are a massive improvement on last year when 6.6 million tuned into the final.
But the climax still failed to match the record 9.4 million viewers who watched Kate Lawler crowned the first female winner on the final night in 2002.
BIG BROTHER FINAL WEEK VOTES
Nadia - 3,863,696
Jason (above) - 1,335,246
Dan - 685,995
Shell - 347,051
Nadia, 27, gained huge public support and had been the hottest favourite in the programme's five-series history.
"There's no words that could show the happiness inside me," she said on leaving the house. "Thank you so much."
Jason Cowan, a 30-year-old air steward from Glasgow, came second with Daniel Bryan, 30, from Hull, third and Shell Jubin, 21, also from Glasgow, fourth.
They had been locked in a TV house for 10 weeks, with nine other contestants kicked out along the way.
Nadia, a bank clerk living in Surrey, broke down in tears and started shaking when presenter Davina McCall announced the news.
She kept the fact she was born a man from her fellow housemates and began the series as a 50-1 outsider. But she endeared herself to the nation to win the £63,500 prize.
She said her transsexuality was not a secret, but she wanted to win the show without telling housemates for "a reassurance of myself".
"It was very hard because there were times that I felt I had to lie a little bit and I didn't want to lie at all," she said.
BIG BROTHER FINAL WEEK VOTES
2000 - 7.5 million
2001 - 7.3 million
2002 - 8.6 million
2003 - 4.3 million
2004 - 6.4 million
"There were moments when I felt I would just come clean and be honest about it."
This series has been among the most controversial yet, with security men called in to break up a fight, sex between two contestants and producers setting "evil" tasks.
Jason - who entered the house in a thong in May - received boos from some fans on leaving but said he was "chuffed to bits" to come second.
He said it was "brilliant", adding: "It's made me a better person so I've enjoyed it."
Daniel, a hairdresser, insisted he did not want to win the show. He told viewers: "It's not something I would've been comfortable with. It's not hard work in the house."
On leaving in fourth place, Shell, a student, said: "People just kicked me up the backside a bit and I had good fun from it."
Nadia received almost 3.9 million votes in the final week, compared with 1.3 million for Jason. Daniel got 685,995, with 347,051 for Shell.
The total of 6.4 million was up from last year's record low of 4.3 million votes - but still lower than the totals for the first three series.
However the 10-week series has succeeded in boosting ratings for Channel 4 - an average of 4.9 million have watched this year's shows so far.
That makes it the second most popular of the UK's five series, behind Big Brother 3, which saw Kate Lawler triumph.
Send us your views on the Big Brother final - did you want Nadia to win? Why do you think she got such huge support?
From the day she walked into that house I loved her. Ask anyone I know. She's fantastic, lovely, funny, gorgeous, everything a human wants. She also won our hearts over with her emotional outbursts about how she felt accepted. There was no other winner ever that deserved this as much as she does, she's fantastic. I'm a super fan of Nadia and I hope she gets everything she ever wanted in life. Good on ya girl.
John Conroy, Ireland
Garish, obscene, rabid, disgraceful, ordinary, nonsense. Bring back The Word. Proper Friday night viewing, thank goodness the ordinary license fee payer didn't contribute towards this gutter trash.
She got all the support because most of the voters tend to be 16 to 35-year-old, Heat-reading party girls who'd idolise a loud chain-smoking heavy drinker like themselves. I respect her for who she is, but I just couldn't stand her personality... and that laugh!
Ingmar, East Yorkshire, UK
Nadia was beautiful all the way through this series, she has style, she is one classy lady. She deserved to win
Iris Jones, UK
Nadia so deserved to win. She was herself from day one either happy or grumpy. She got such support because people loved her for being herself, and admired her for not being ashamed of who she is. GO NADS!!!!
She definitely got the sympathy vote! Her laugh and constant screaming were so annoying! Jason was cruelly denied victory!
I have wanted Nadia to win for a long time. It was really apparent how much tonight meant to her. She has been through so much in her life and then to receive the admiration of the country is something else! I was in tears tonight watching her reaction and the clips from the 10 weeks. In my opinion it has been the best BB ever! Roll on Celebrity BB later this year and BB6 next year! I could not think of anyone more deserving than Nadia, and if next year is anything like this year, ratings will go through the roof!
Jack Hamilton, Belfast
I sincerely hope young children didn't watch it, it was a show full of depravity and profanities. No example for our children.
This is TV for the uneducated masses. Thank goodness the vast majority of the UK population chose to do something else, rather than watch it.
Paul, Dawlish, England
Why so many people are so keen to devote valuable hours of their finite lives to watching this sort of pappy, moronic "entertainment" is beyond me. If I want to watch a building full of gormless cretins trying to string a sentence together I'll go to the pub; at least they have a pool table there. Life is too short to waste watching this sort of tosh, so it's great news that it's over. Another year of peace beckons...
Matt Vaughan, England
Much better than the Oz BB, Davina is just so cool. Nadia was my favourite, she is so genuine and such a glamour queen, Ab fab and the lip gloss bitches rule!
Francesca Monroe, Australia (but living in the UK)
Way to go Nadia ! Yes I totally wanted Nadia to win. I think people gave her so much support which shows people are starting to understand the plight of transsexuals and at least in England she is accepted for who she really is, a fabulous woman.
The only reason Jason Cowan got so much support was because Scottish newspapers campaigned to get the people of Scotland to vote for him PURELY because he was Scottish. The boos he received showed how unpopular he was. I'm glad Nadia won!
Gaye O'Reilly, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Maybe it's time for the gay and the transgender community to accept that they have actually been accepted by such a vast majority! It's interesting to see that all the people with negative comments still must have watched the programme to comment so negatively. Well done Nadia - you are a superb role model for all!
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