The X Factor won the Saturday night ratings war for the second week running, according to latest figures.

Strictly Come Dancing was second again after scheduling saw it clash with the ITV talent show for more than an hour.

The dance show closed the gap slightly with the difference in peak audiences falling from two million last week to 1.4 million last night.

The X Factor’s audience peaked at 10.1 million, 40% of Saturday night television viewers, compared to 8.7 million (38 per cent) for Strictly which saw former jockey Richard Dunwoody get the boot.

Strictly’s peak audience was at 7.55pm, just before The X Factor started at 8pm.

Last night’s average audience for The X Factor, which is still in the preliminary stages of choosing finalists, was 8.9 million, 36% of those watching TV between 8pm and 9.15pm.

Strictly was left trailing one million viewers behind with an average of 7.9 million (33 per cent).

An ITV spokesman said: “The X Factor performed particularly well with the younger audience, attracting 49 per cent of the 16 to 34 demographic over the whole show, compared to 23% watching Strictly Come Dancing.”

Although Strictly was the viewers’ second choice for the second Saturday running, its average audience rose by 200,000 on last week’s 7.7 million and its peak remained steady at 8.7 million.

The peak audience for X Factor was 600,000 down on last week’s 10.7 million and its average audience dropped 400,000 from 9.3 million last Saturday.