Strictly Come Dancing has won its first head-to-head clash of 2014 with rival the X Factor with 800,000 more viewers, according to overnight figures.

The launch edition of the BBC One dance show on Sunday night (September 7) had an average audience of 8.4 million who tuned in to see Sir Bruce Forsyth bow out and the celebrities meet their professional partners.

Stars appearing on Strictly this year include EastEnders star Jake Wood, Casualty actress Sunetra Sarker and former Xtra Factor host Caroline Flack.

ITV’s singing contest pulled in 7.6 million viewers, dropping more than a million viewers from the edition screened the night before which had 8.7 million.

And X Factor was down a huge two million viewers on the equivalent show last year, the fourth episode of the series.

X Factor bosses had hoped to revitalise their viewing figures this year with a revamp of the judging panel, welcoming back Simon Cowell and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini to the show.

Strictly has been ahead for the past two years, with the ITV contest suffering an ongoing ratings slip.

Not only did Sunday night’s Strictly have the higher average audience, it was also ahead in terms of peak audience – pulling in 9.4 million viewers at its height, while X Factor claimed a peak of 9.2 million.

Simon Cowell said of the figures: “Round one to them. Such a shame they were both on at the same time.”

To celebrate the launch of Strictly, we’ve come up with a video rundown of the Greatest Strictly Performances of All Time. Enjoy…