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'X Factor' maintains ratings lead

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'X Factor' maintains ratings lead
The X Factor maintained its position as the most-watched Saturday night programme yesterday, but lost out to Strictly Come Dancing in the head-to-head battle.

This week's edition of the talent contest, in which the remaining ten acts performed big band songs, drew an average of 9.69m (39.7%) between 7.45pm and 9.25pm.

Strictly, which began at the earlier time of 6.45pm, averaged 9.27m (39.3%) until 8.05pm. In the 20 minutes that both shows were head to head, however, Strictly had 9.25m to its rival's 8.18m.

The X Factor had the higher peak - 10.77m (44%), at 8.55pm - while Strictly peaked with 10.61m (44.4%) at 7.40pm.

Strictly posted the greatest week-on-week improvement, adding 700,000 viewers overall to X Factor's 400,000.

After a significant fall last week, Merlin bounced back in the ratings to average 5.48m (28.6%) from 5.50pm. On ITV1, Totally You've Been Framed! had 5.61m (25.4%) from 6.15pm, then Harry Hill's TV Burp averaged 6m (25.2%) in the half hour before The X Factor.

All Star Family Fortunes delivered a decent 6.33m (27.9%) over 45 minutes from 9.25pm, then The X Factor results show - in which 19-year-old Scott Bruton was voted off - took 7.7m (38%).

Post-Strictly, National Lottery show Who Dares Wins put in 5.02m (20.7%), then Casualty interested 5.21m (21.7%).

ITV1 had an average share of 34.2% during primetime (last week: 34.9%) and BBC One managed 25.6% (25.5%).

BBC Two had 1.77m (7.3%) for a Timewatch repeat at 8.10pm, easily outdoing the 0.65m (2.7%) audience for a repeat of Gordon Ramsay: Cookalong Live on Channel 4 in the 8pm hour. At 9pm, an extended edition of Have I Got News For You amused 1.99m (8.3%), then 40 minutes later, a rare interview with Phil Spector brought in 0.84m (4.3%) to Arena.

A repeat of ratings hit The Secret Millionaire could only muster 0.84m (3.6%) for Channel 4 in the 9pm hour, then a screening of the first Saw movie had 1.13m (6.9%).

A triple bill of NCIS gradually built the audience for Five in primetime, starting with 754,000 (3.2%) at 7.05pm, then improving to 1.19m (4.9%) at 7.50pm and 1.4m (5.8%) at 8.45pm. CSI brought in the channel's all-day high, however, with 1.62m (7.6%) at 9.45pm.

BBC Two took an average share of 6% during primetime (last week: 7%) to Five's 5.5% (4.1%). Channel 4 was down to a dismal 3.6% (3.9%).

Two editions of The Xtra Factor had reliably strong audiences for ITV2, with 864,000 (4.4%) at 9.25pm and 876,000 (6.9%) at 10.55pm.

Ratings data supplied by Attentional

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