Strictly beats X Factor in head to head ratings

Strictly Come Dancing came out on top in the battle for Saturday night viewers when the BBC One show went head-to-head with ITV1’s The X Factor.

Overnight figures showed the ballroom dancing show had 9.6 million viewers when it finished at 8.15pm, while The X Factor, which was 30 minutes into the show at that point, had 8.8 million.

A source close to The X Factor supremo Simon Cowell said he was ‘happy’ with the show, which enjoyed a higher peak audience than its BBC rival.

The source said: “He has deliberately left the UK show to run without him and he absolutely trusts the team to do a great job. Simon is very happy with how they are all doing and thinks all the judges are doing a fantastic job too.”

A BBC spokesman said programme-makers were ‘delighted’ with the viewing figures for Strictly.

He said: “It is great that more and more viewers keep tuning in to enjoy what is turning out to be a fantastic series.”

A spokesman for ITV said The X Factor had a peak audience of 11.9 million on Saturday night.

He said: “The X Factor continued to be the UK’s most-watched entertainment show and ITV1 was the most popular channel across peak time.”

Sunday’s results show, which saw boyband Nu Vibe booted off, had a peak audience of 13.5 million.