It’s Strictly magic as BBC show beats its ITV rival
THE first live episode of Strictly Come Dancing sashayed past The X Factor in the TV ratings battle, notching up 4million more viewers than its Saturday night rival.
The BBC One favourite drew an average audience of 9.3million and a peak of 10.2million as 15 new celebrities took to the dance floor in a bumper two-and-a-half-hour episode.
Meanwhile, ITV’s The X Factor, which overlapped Strictly for 45 minutes, had an average audience of 4.8million and a peak of 6million.
The X Factor’s audience fell by 1.5million on last week and follows previous disappointments.
This series’ launch show had the lowest opening viewership — about 6million — since 2004.
Fans of Strictly watched as the new round of contestants strutted their stuff after two weeks of training, with former JLS singer Aston Merrygold topping the leader board and comedian Brian Conley and TV presenter Ruth Langsford coming joint last.
Debbie McGee, 58, stunned the audience with an age-defying performance that included the splits and a big kiss for partner Giovanni Pernice.
Judges Shirley Ballas and Darcey Bussell gave a standing ovation to the magician’s assistant and Craig Revel Horwood said she ‘danced like a 20-year-old’.
Numbers for both shows are expected to rise when catch-up figures are added — The X Factor currently averages 7.5million viewers per episode each week.
Author: Andrei Harmsworth