The hit drama re-make ‘Poldark’ attracted just over a quarter of the entire TV audience for its series finale on Sunday night. 5.9 million viewers tuned in to BBC One see the first season come to a close, in what’s been a tremendous success for the corporation.

The last instalment in the eight-part period drama attracted over half a million more viewers for the live broadcast than the penultimate did last Sunday. It therefore attracted 25.4% of the entire audience for the prime 9pm-10pm slot.

Aidan TurnerAidan Turner, star of 'Poldark'

The nearest offering from any rival broadcasters was another series finale, that of ITV’s five-part ‘Vera’ which was on from 8pm to 10pm, which was watched by 4.9 million (22%). The TV premiere of The Impossible was on Channel 4.

More: Aidan Turner keeping his shirt ON proves a shocking twist for ‘Poldark’ viewers

Including catch-up services in the final figure, ‘Poldark’ has drawn an average of 8 million viewers per week since it began at the beginning of March. This has helped the BBC to capture its highest ratings share for the first quarter of a calendar year in a decade.

‘Poldark’, a revival of the original 1975 series which drew in an even higher average of 15 million viewers with Robin Ellis in the lead role, has been a hot topic in recent weeks, with much of the discussion centering around Turner frequently being pictured toiling in the fields without a shirt on.

Critical reaction to Sunday’s cliffhanger ending drew largely positive reviews, with the Daily Mail’s opinion “the sunsets, the seascapes, the glowers, the swoons, the dances, the duels, the feuds, the passions - Sunday nights will be dull without them” a typically gushing one.

But don’t worry, ‘Poldark’ lovers – Turner and bare-chested antic will be back early in 2016 with a second series, which has already been given the green light by the BBC.

More: Second series of ‘Poldark’ commissioned by BBC One