12/12/2012 16:52 GMT | Updated 11/02/2013 10:12 GMT

Olympic Moments And Other Great Sports Dominated TV Ratings For 2012, And Downton Abbey, Of Course...

Great sporting moments dominated the UK's TV ratings for 2012 with the London Olympics unsurprisingly keeping the largest number of viewing public glued to their sofas.

The opening and closing ceremonies of the London Olympics during the summer bagged the top two spots, with more than 24 million viewers tuning in for both events. Although Danny Boyle's opening event was considered more of a masterpiece, it was actually the closing ceremony that drew the most viewers - 24.5million viewers.

The men's 100 metres final, won by Usain Bolt, was the single most watched sporting event of the Olympics, but it wasn't the most watched sporting battle of all - that belonged to football and England's tussle with Italy during Euro 2012.

'Event TV' - of which 2012 was in plentiful supply - filled the top ten ratings slots with a variety of Olympic, Jubilee and Euro 2012 events, with only 'Britain's Got Talent' making it in from what we call 'normal' telly. Simon Cowell will be relieved that one of his talent shows made the cut with 13.1million viewers, particularly because the BBC's 'The Voice's biggest audience (11.9m back in April) outstripped 'X Factor's biggest audience (11.4m in September).

Soaps and drama came relatively low down the list of must-see programmes - the most-watched soap was 'Coronation Street's episode on 23 January when Becky disrupted Steve and Tracy's wedding, while the biggest drama was - you guessed it - 'Downton Abbey', whose final episode was watched by an impressive 12.1million.

The rest of the top 20 spots for the year were filled by finals of Andy Murray's efforts at Wimbledon, Charlie Brooks winning 'I'm A Celebrity...' and an episode of 'Strictly'. The lesson for schedule planners next year is definitely... think royal, think reality, think sporting, and think very, very big.

Creative, colourful, a glimpse into the human soul - click below to launch our slideshow fullscreen and flick through the very best images of the London 2012 Olympic Games:

Best Olympics Photography