Strictly Come Dancing’s 2013 final has scored a convincing victory over the 2013 X Factor final in the ratings – but it was still the least watched series finale since 2009.
According to overnight figures both the 6.30pm and 8.40pm editions of the show attracted an average audience of 11.5m viewers, rising to a peak of 12.6m as Abbey Clancy danced her way to victory.
Those figures are down on the 12.4m who watched the main show in 2012 and the 11.9m who tuned in to the equivalent results show, when Louis Smith won the Glitterball trophy – while they fell short of the 13m who watched the final in 2010.
However it was still the most watched programme across any channel on Saturday night – and still proved far more popular than last weekend’s X Factor final, which scored an average audience of 8.5m on Saturday and 9.7m for the results show on Sunday.
And despite the slight decline the BBC admitted it was thrilled with the viewing figures.
“Strictly 2013 has been a vintage year, bringing huge audiences together to BBC1 every week, culminating in last night’s dramatic all-women final which saw Abbey crowned champion,” said BBC One controller Charlotte Moore.
Meanwhile bookies are breathing a sigh of relief after Susanna Reid – who had been heavily backed in recent weeks – fell at the final hurdle, saving them from a six-figure pay out.
William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams said that a win for the BBC Breakfast presenter would have been “our worst ever result in the show’s history.”