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.