The X Factor has beaten Strictly Come Dancing in the first Saturday night head to head ratings battle, according to early figures.

Overnight estimates suggest that The X Factor drew in around 10m viewers, compared to 7.7m who tuned in to the second part of the weekend’s Strictly double bill.

The two shows were screened at the same time for an hour on Saturday, with Strictly beginning at 7.25pm and finishing at 9pm, and The X Factor coming on air at 8pm – at which point Strictly’s viewing figures reportedly dropped.

However the dance show’s audience peaked at 8.1m – meaning that it failed to triumph in the ratings even during the first 35 minutes when The X Factor was not on the air.

Friday evening’s series opener attracted just under nine million viewers.

A BBC spokesman said the figures were “very pleasing” and that the combined audience of both shows proved that “there is something for everyone to enjoy on a Saturday night”.

The X Factor show featured another week of audition highlights from around the country, while Strictly saw the first eight celebrities perform.

Tennis ace Martina Hingis became the first star to be voted off the show this year, after losing out to Crimewatch presenter Rav Wilding in the dance-off.