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'Strictly' hits series high with 9.6m

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'Strictly' hits series high with 9.6m
Strictly Come Dancing pulled in its best numbers so far during this series on Saturday night, according to early figures.

This week's performance show averaged 9.61m (42.6%) between 6pm and 7.20pm, peaking with 10.74m (46.3%) at 7pm. For the second week running, it avoided going up against The X Factor, which maintained its position as the number one programme on Saturday nights with an average of 10.19m (tying Strictly in share with 42.6%) over 90 minutes from 7.20pm. The peak audience was 11.2m (46.8%) at 8.05pm.

The X Factor's results show dipped slightly from its performance last week, averaging 8.32m (35.6%) between 9.35pm and 10.20pm. Sandwiched between the two halves, All Star Family Fortunes held on to 6.66m (28.4%).

Also paring back gains from last week was BBC One's Merlin, which pulled in an average of 5.49m (23.1%) from 7.20pm.

ITV1's Strictly competition generally fell week-on-week, with You've Been Framed down almost 1m viewers to 4.15m (18.3%) and Harry Hill's TV Burp down 810,000 to 5.17m (22.3%).

Over on BBC One, the post-Merlin lineup of The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins and Casualty fared reasonably well despite being scheduled against the closing stages of X Factor, pulling in 4.55m (19.3%) and 5.22m (21.8%) respectively between 8pm and 9pm.

BBC Two's Coast had 1.47m (6.2%) in the hour from 7.05pm, and Inside the Saudi Kingdom averaged 1.71m (7.2%) between 8.05pm and 9.05pm. The channel's most popular show of the night was the extended version of Have I Got News For You, which averaged a respectable 2.07m (8.8%).

Channel 4 was boosted by Silent Hill, which averaged 1.07m (5.1%) from 9pm. Gordon Ramsay's Cookalong picked up from last week with 0.67m (2.8%), managing to hang on to more of its River Cottage Autumn lead-in, which had 0.84m (3.6%) from 7pm.

Five's back-to-back episodes of NCIS achieved 0.85m (3.6%) and 1.11m (4.6%) at 7.10pm and 8.05pm respectively, and CSI was on par with last week's performance with 1.37m (5.8%) at 9.05pm.

Overall, ITV1 had a 32.5% share during primetime (last week: 34.3%) to BBC One's 25.3% (23.9%). BBC Two stayed in third with 7.1% (8%) while Five dropped from 5.2% to 4.6%. Channel 4, however, managed to claw back from last week's 2.4% and posted a 4% average for the night.

Ratings data supplied by Attentional

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