Strictly Come Dancing has pulled ahead of The X Factor in the Saturday night ratings war for the first time this year, according to overnight viewing figures.
The celebrity dance show drew an average audience of 10.2 million (a 42.7 per cent share) between 6:30pm and 8:10pm on BBC1 and BBC1 HD this Saturday night. The X Factor, on the other hand, could only manage 9.6 million (a 38.8 per cent share) between 8pm and 9:45pm on ITV1 and ITV1 HD.
Strictly peaked at 11.5 million viewers, against 11 million for its ITV1 rival.
For the last three weeks, Strictly has beaten The X Factor at the point at which the two shows overlapped, but this is the first time it has been ahead on overall average – a feat made even more impressive by the later time slot The X Factor occupies.
The ITV1 show’s flagging fortunes come amid further claims that a contestant’s vocals were digitally manipulated.
ITV1 bosses have admitted to using a robotic effect on the first 20 seconds of Kitty Brucknell’s performance on Saturday night, but said this was in keeping with the “retro electronic style” of Brucknell’s performance and denied that an Auto-Tune facility had been used to change her voice during the remainder of the performance.
An X Factor spokesperson said: “The X Factor does not use Auto-Tuning… If Kitty had hit a wrong note viewers would have heard it.”