Strictly Come Dancing beats X Factor in first head-to-head ratings clash

Strictly Come Dancing waltzed all over The X Factor in the ratings as the two talent show giants clashed for the first time.

The BBC One ballroom series broadcast its results show at 7.15pm on Sunday, October 4, which saw former athlete Iwan Thomas become the first celebrity to be voted out of the series. It drew an average audience of 7.83m with a 33.2 per cent share of the total TV audience.


Over on ITV, an average of 7.49m (including those watching on ITV +1) were glued to X Factor’s Six Chair Challenge, which achieved a share of 32.4 per cent.

The figure for fans who viewed solely on ITV was 7.12m.

During the show, Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Nick Grimshaw and Rita Ora were given the categories they’ll be mentoring this series (Overs, Groups, Boys and Girls, respectively) and judge Rita selected her final six for the Judges’ Houses stage of the competition.

X Factor judges Nick Grimshaw, Rita Ora, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Smon Cowell

(Syco/Thames TV)


Back in August, X Factor supremo Simon had laughed off any talk of a ratings rivalry with Strictly, joking about the lack of a star-studded line-up.

He had claimed his show could easily beat Strictly: “I’d hate to say yes, because I know what will happen if I say yes, it will come back and haunt me.

“This show does feel better, the talent’s great, they’re interesting, so if it’s us versus Peter Andre, I’m going to put my money on us.”

Strictly versus X Factor: Sunday night ratings


Despite losing to Strictly once again in the ratings, Simon can take heart from the general upward trend of X Factor’s ratings.

X Factor Sunday night ratings compared


On August 30, the ITV singing show’s first Sunday broadcast aired to an average of only 5.94m viewers (not including fans watching via timeshift on ITV +1).

The BBC will be very encouraged by the consistent performance of their celebrity dancing series.

Strictly Come Dancing ratings so far


Although it has dropped slightly from the 8.69m who tuned in for the glitzy launch, Strictly has so far maintained an audience above 7.6m viewers.

In an attempt to avoid the two series clashing, ITV published episode times for X Factor right up until the final in December. However, the two shows are set to coincide again during the coming weeks.


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