Entertainment & Arts

Strictly Come Dancing soars ahead of X Factor

Denise Van Outen and James Jordan
Image caption Denise Van Outen is among the favourites to win this year's contest

Strictly Come Dancing has trounced rival talent show X Factor in the most recent round of Saturday night ratings, by some two million viewers.

The BBC dance show, which aired from 18:30-20:15 GMT, pulled in an average of 9.8m viewers - while X Factor drew an average of 7.8m.

It marks Strictly's biggest lead over X Factor in six years, although there was no direct overlap in broadcast times.

X Factor, which aired from 20:20-22:05, was also down 2m on the same 2011 show.

The average audience has fallen by four million when compared to this stage two years ago, the last series which featured the show's creator, Simon Cowell, as a judge.

Audience share

Cowell left the show after the 2010 series to launch the US version of the programme, with Gary Barlow taking on the UK role as head judge.

This year, Barlow is joined by Tulisa Contostavlos, Nicole Scherzinger and stalwart Louis Walsh on the judging panel.

Both shows dominated the audience share during their respective broadcasts on Saturday, with the BBC One show winning an average of 43.3% of available viewers and the ITV1 show attracting 33.3% of available viewers.

Saturday saw X Factor contestant Lucy Spraggan drop out of the show after struggling to recover from illness.

On Sunday night Kye Sones was eliminated after a deadlock saved Rylan Clark again.

Sones and Clark had a sing-off after they received the least amount of votes from the public.

In Strictly Come Dancing, Daybreak's Richard Arnold found himself at the bottom of the board after he and partner Erin Boag received just 17 points for their foxtrot.

But actor Colin Salmon, who partners Kristina Rihanoff, became the latest contestant to leave the show after a poor performance in the dance-off opposite Arnold.

"You have to understand that this is a discipline beyond anything we understand. So I accept with grace this decision," said James Bond star Salmon.

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