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Strictly Come Dancing quicksteps away from X Factor on Saturday night

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Strictly Come Dancing broke an even greater distance away from The X Factor in the Saturday night ratings, early overnight data reveals.

A Hollywood-themed edition of the ballroom dancing show pulled in a hefty 9.91m and 44.2% audience share between 6.30pm and 8.30pm - an identical viewing figure but a superior audience share to last week.

BBC One's veteran reality show, the night's most-watched broadcast for a third week on the trot, peaked with a huge 11.3m (47.8%) at 8pm.

Strictly Come Dancing: Professional dancers

© BBC

The X Factor Week 3: MK1

© Ken McKay/Thames/Rex Features



The X Factor's peak of 9.3m was lower than Strictly's average audience, widening further the margin by which the ITV show lost to Strictly last week, its biggest loss since 2006.

Club Classics week drew an average of 8.21m (34.8%) between 8.15pm and 10.30pm, adding 366k (1.8%) on ITV1 +1. The Xtra Factor followed on ITV2 with 600k (3.5%).

However, many will catch today's ITV1 and ITV2 repeats of the live performance show ahead of tonight's results show, which beat Strictly's last Sunday.

Catering well again for non-X Factor fans, BBC One logged strong ratings for Merlin (5.51m/22.9%) and respectable figures for Casualty (4.1m/17.1%), while 4.22m (22.4%) watched a new series of Pointless Celebrities kick off from 5.40pm.

Merlin S05E03 - 'The Death Song of Uther Pendragon': King Uther

© BBC / Shine

Alexander Armstrong from BBC's 'Pointless'

© BBC



Match of the Day scored 3.67m (25.6%) from 10.30pm, beating ITV1's Jonathan Ross, who attracted 2.54m (15%) and 131k (1.3%) on timeshift. You've Been Framed (2.39m/13.1%) aired at 6pm (+1: 134k/0.7%), Fool Britannia (2.08m/9.9%) was scheduled at 6.30pm, and Take Me Out entertained 3.1m (13.4%) from 7pm (+1: 210k/0.9%).

Elsewhere, BAFTA-winning political satire The Thick of It aired on BBC Two with a series low of 862k (4.1%) from 9.45pm, prior to which QI XL amused 1.31m (5.4%).

Meanwhile, Channel 4's movie The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 anchored its schedule with 1.03m (5%) from 9.15pm (+1: 364k/2.5%), and 780k (3.3%) caught Channel 5's showing of The Devil's Brigade.

Overall, BBC One overtook ITV1 in an historic Saturday primetime victory, with 28.9% versus 24.9% (+1: 1.1%). Way behind in third place, BBC Two had 4.6%, ahead of Channel 4's 3.5% (+1: 0.6%), and Channel 5's 3.4% (+1: 0.1%).

BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional

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