The adaptation of Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel was streamed more than 62 million times.
The BBC also revealed that 2020 has seen 5.3 billion streams across all content on iPlayer, constituting a 33 per cent rise on last year and setting a new record for the broadcaster.
Behind Normal People, the second most-watched programme was Killing Eve, which debuted its third season in April.
Killing Eve was streamed a total of 39,344,000 times. Coming in third was cookery series MasterChef, which clocked an impressive 22,206,000 streams.
Legal drama The Split trailed in fourth place with 18,939,000 streams.
The third season premiere of Killing Eve was the single most watched episode of any programme, amassing 7,398,000 streams in total.
Episode one of Normal People, meanwhile, was watched 6,378,000 times.
Dan McGolpin, controller of BBC iPlayer, said: “It’s been a tough year for so many of us but through two national lockdowns and many difficult months BBC iPlayer has been there to keep us entertained and well informed wherever you are throughout the UK, seeing five billion requests for the first time ever.
“It’s pleasing to see the sensational adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Normal People take top slot as the biggest series of the year and there have been other brand new drama series among the most popular, such as Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy You, The Nest and The Secrets She Keeps as well say hugely popular returners like Killing Eve and The Split.”
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