Massive audiences tune in for Strictly and I'm A Celeb

The launch episode of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! scored ITV its highest overnight ratings of the year, but still did not manage to surpass BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing.

The jungle-based reality show was watched by an average of 10.3 million viewers, a peak of 11.2 million and an audience share of 46% when the new series kicked off on Sunday evening at 9pm.

It has become the channel’s most successful show of 2017 so far, according to overnight data, beating an episode of Britain’s Got Talent from earlier this year at an average of 9.4 million.

I'm A Celebrity
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! (ITV)

But the Strictly Blackpool results show, which aired at 7.15pm, was watched by an average of 10.8 million viewers and a peak of 12.1 million, with an audience share of 46% for its time slot.

These mark the highest results show ratings for the dancing programme of the series so far.

Sir David Attenborough’s popular wildlife documentary Blue Planet II, on at 8pm on BBC One, scored the same average as Strictly, 10.8 million, which is slightly down from last week’s 11 million average.

I’m A Celebrity’s launch episode was also slightly down when compared to the 2016 equivalent broadcast, which garnered an average 10.7 million viewers and a peak of 11.7 million.

Sunday’s episode marked the return of Ant McPartlin to TV following a stint in rehab, and saw 10 new celebrities – including former politician Stanley Johnson, boxer Amir Khan and Hollyoaks star Jamie Lomas – head into the jungle after taking on a series of tricky tasks.

Kevin Lygo, ITV’s Director of Television, said: “We are all thrilled with the return of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! Ant and Dec were, as ever, on top form and the show was packed full of fantastic moments, from Jamie wobbling his way along a plank 330ft off the ground to the realisation dawning on Stanley and Amir about what they’ve let themselves in for.

“It promises to be another brilliant series.”

An average of 4.8 million viewers watched The X Factor, which saw Holly Tandy and Rai-Elle Williams become the latest acts to be eliminated.

The ITV singing programme, on at 7.30pm, grew by one million to peak at 5.8 million.

The figures for ITV’s shows include those who watched one hour later on ITV+1.