The Eurovision Song Contest drew its biggest audience for three years as viewers tuned in to see "bearded lady" Conchita Wurst take the title for Austria, while UK had disappointment once again.

BBC1's coverage of the show drew an average audience of 8.8 million and at its peak had 10.5 million - more than half of all viewers - as the show neared its climax, according to overnight figures.

It marked the second highest Eurovision performance in a decade, beaten only by 2011's competition which drew around 9.5 million on average and whose entries included boy band Blue for the UK and Jedward representing Ireland.

On Saturday night viewers saw the UK's Molly Smitten-Downes finish in a lowly 17th place out of 26 entrants with her song Children Of The Universe.

The audience was up more than a million compared with the average of 7.7 million for 2013, which was itself marginally up on the 7.5 million in 2012.

The Austrian winner, a drag act whose real name is Tom Neuwirth, said after securing victory : "This award is dedicated to everybody who believes in a world of peace and freedom."