The X Factor 2011: Final show draws lowest figures for four years

Sunday's X Factor was watched by 13 million people, less than any final since 2007

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Thirteen million viewers saw The X Factor final on Sunday, four million fewer than tuned in this time last year, giving the ITV show its thinnest audience for a final since 2007.

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The finale, which saw girl band Little Mix crowned the victors of the show’s eighth series, averaged 12.9 million viewers between 7:30pm and 9:30pm, giving the programme a 44 per cent audience share, with the total number of viewers rising to 13.1 million when factoring in people watching on ITV1+1.

17.2 million viewers tuned in to see Matt Cardle’s win on the show last year, 15.5 million people watched Joe McElderry’s triumph in 2009, and 13.2 million saw Alexandra Burke’s victorious Sunday night in 2008.

The last time viewing figures were lower than last night’s final was in 2007, when the results show was still broadcast on Saturday night and 11.7 million people watched Leon Jackson’s winning performance.

Sunday’s peak figure of 15.3 million viewers was also down on previous years, last year’s contest having compelled a record 19.4 million people to tune in at the show’s highest point.

Despite the lower than usual viewing figures, The X Factor final still beat Strictly Come Dancing’s semi-final show on Sunday, which drew 10.9 million viewers and a 40 per cent audience share.

However, Strictly won the battle of Saturday night. It was watched by an average of 11 million viewers – compared with the 10.6 million who tuned in for the first leg of The X Factor finale – and garnered a 44.2 per cent share against The X Factor’s 40 per cent.

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That was also the poorest showing by The X Factor for a Saturday night live final since 2006.