Strictly Come Dancing has opened up a 1.6 million lead over the X Factor for viewers of the latest results shows – just a fortnight after the rivals were neck and neck.
Overnight figures show Strictly had an average audience of 9.5 million, while ITV’s singing contest drew just 7.9 million, even including viewers of its +1 catch-up channel.
And to make matters worse for Simon Cowell’s show, it is 1.2 million down on the equivalent programme in 2013, despite his return to the judging panel this year in the hope of boosting the ratings.
Two weeks ago the Sunday results programmes were almost level, with Strictly having a lead of just 10,000, but last night’s X Factor – in which Jake Quickenden was given the boot – had slipped by 900,000 from that level.
However, the results show is still outperforming the Saturday evening edition of the programme, which had an average 7.4 million viewers this weekend, trailing Strictly that night by 2.1 million.
Saturday night editions of Strictly have been consistently ahead so far this year, but this was the biggest gap so far.