Italy’s triumph over England in the Euro 2020 final was watched by a UK audience of 31million viewers.
The peak came as the match went to penalties, during which England players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka all suffered the heartache of missing their spot-kicks.
While England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford saved two of the Azzurri’s spot kicks, the Lions’ striker Marcus Rashford hit the post before Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka had their spot-kicks saved to hand victory to Italy.
Broadcast on both the BBC and ITV, the combined figure makes it the highest TV audience since the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997.
As a comparison, Boris Johnson’s statement in March of last year announcing strict new coronavirus restrictions was watched by more than 27million, the biggest TV audience in recent history.
The highest ratings for football viewing, before Sunday’s figures were released, was for the semi final between West Germany and England at the 1990 World Cup which was watched by 25.2 million.
The official audience for Sunday’s match could well rise when viewing on catch-up services is taken into account.