Most shows on British TV can only dream of an audience of 11 million but for Sunday’s X Factor final that figure marked the poorest showing in six years.
Sunday night’s two-hour results programme was watched by an average of 10.9m viewers (a 39.1% audience share) on ITV1 – the lowest since 2006, when 10.4m saw Leona Lewis win.
It was also down 2m on last year’s final, won by girl group Little Mix, and 5m on the show’s most-watched ever climax, Matt Cardle’s victory in 2010, which was seen by an average of 16.1m (a 51.5% share).
This year’s final recorded its peak audience at around 9:30pm, when 12.5m viewers (a 44% share) watched James Arthur crowned 2012 champion.
Earlier in the evening (7-7:40pm), BBC1’s talent show offering Strictly Come Dancing – which has frequently outgunned the X Factor this year – was watched by 9.8m (37.5%), with the semi-final and final still to come.