Overnight viewing figures have revealed that more than a million less viewers tuned in to watch the launch of this year’s X Factor, compared with the number who watched last year’s opener.

The figures show that an average of 7.6 million people tuned in to watch the start of the 12th series (not including +1 figures), which showed new judges Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw and new co-hosts Olly Murs and Caroline Flack on duty for the first time.

An average of 8.9 million people watched the opening episode last year, when it was screened against BBC1’s Doctor Who.

Next weekend, The X Factor will clash (for 20 minutes) with the return of BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing, but X Factor creator Simon Cowell is confident his show will come out on top.

Speaking ahead of The X Factor’s launch show, Simon said: “This show feels better, the talent’s great. So if it’s us versus [Strictly celebrity contestant] Peter Andre, I’m going to put my money on us.”

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC1 on Saturday, September 5, 7.15pm.

The X Factor continues on ITV, Saturday, September 5, 8.15pm.