Strictly Come Dancing tops ratings ahead of X Factor

Strictly Come Dancing has scored another triumph over The X Factor in the ratings with its first live Saturday show of the series.

According to overnight figures Strictly’s Saturday night return – which saw nine of this year’s celebrities make their dancefloor debut – scored a massive average of 9.2m viewers between 7pm and 8.25pm.

And the peak audience for the show was even bigger at 10.2m.

By contrast the latest instalment of The X Factor – which saw the first batch of semi-finalists chosen at boot camp – pulled in an average audience of 7.8m, including those watching an hour later on the catch-up service ITV+1.

Meanwhile the show scored a peak audience of 8.8m as the likes of Melanie McCabe and Tamera Foster made it through to the next stage.

Strictly scored a further triumph when it was revealed to have picked up four times as many viewers as the final of ITV’s rival dance show Stepping Out.

That show, which began at 7.20pm after Strictly had already begun, scored an audience of just 2.1m as JLS’s Oritse Williams and girlfriend AJ Azari were crowned series champions.

The BBC’s new big-budget drama Atlantis – which clashed in the schedules with The X Factor – also had a strong start with an audience of 5.6m.

 “Saturday nights on BBC One are back in style, with over 10 million viewers tuning in for Strictly and new fantasy adventure drama series Atlantis off to a brilliant start,” said BBC One controller Charlotte Moore.