Strictly draws in half of all television viewers for movie night

AJ Pritchard and Mollie King as they take part in the live show of the BBC1 dance contest, Strictly Come Dancing. PIC: PA
AJ Pritchard and Mollie King as they take part in the live show of the BBC1 dance contest, Strictly Come Dancing. PIC: PA
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Strictly Come Dancing has once again proved to be favourite Saturday-night television, with its movie-themed special drawing in almost half of all television viewers.

The BBC One competition’s third live show attracted an average of 9.8 million viewers, amounting to a total audience share of 48%.

As the series grows in popularity, a peak of 10.6 million viewers tuned in - compared to 10.2 million last Saturday - completely dwarfing the figures for the latest episode of The X Factor on ITV.

The singing contest drew in little over half the same numbers, pulling in average audience of 4.8 million viewers, peaking at 5.7 million.

The nostalgically-cinematic episode of Strictly saw comedian Susan Calman transform into Wonder Woman while singer Alexandra Burke channelled Audrey Hepburn’s My Fair Lady and actor Davood Ghadami’s Saturday Night Fever hip thrusts would have given John Travolta himself a run for his money.

Ruth Langsford stunned with her Bond girl look and there was an awkward moment when professional dancer Brendan Cole hit back at criticism from head judge Shirley Ballas.

Meanwhile, X Factor fans saw the judges each assigned as category mentors for the next stage of the competition.

Sharon Osbourne was horrified to learn she would have to deal with the tough contest between the girls while Simon Cowell was put in charge of the groups, Louis Walsh of the boys and Nicole Scherzinger of the over 27s.

Both programmes will continue on Sunday as another celebrity contestant will be given the boot on Strictly’s second results show of the season on BBC One at 7.15pm

Osbourne will face the first Six Chair Challenge to select the six female acts to take to the judges’ houses when X Factor continues on ITV at 7.30pm.