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Just over 11m people tuned in to the opening show of series seven of The X Factor, according to early figures.
The 90-minute show, which featured some of the best and worst auditions from London and Glasgow, was the biggest ratings grabber of Saturday night.
And the viewing figures were a significant increase on those for the 2009 series opener, which peaked at around 9.9m.
At its peak The X Factor was being watched by around 12 and a half million people – nearly 50 per cent of the entire viewing audience.
By contrast, BBC1’s Tonight’s The Night pulled in just 3.3m in the same time slot. Casualty, which also overlapped the show, managed 3.8m viewers.
Saturday’s show featured guest judge Geri Halliwell, who was one of the stand-ins for new mum Dannii Minogue.
Among the highlights were Zimbabwe-born teenager Gamu Nhengu, who wowed the judges with her rendition of Walking On Sunshine, and wept as she won a place at boot camp.
London-based group Jham were also memorable – for all the wrong reasons, after their version of Bad Romance prompted a stunned silence from judges and audience.