More than 12 million see Abbey dance to victory

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More than 12 million people watched Abbey Clancy as she was crowned the champion of this year’s Strictly Come Dancing.

But the final of the BBC1 dance contest pulled in its lowest ratings for a final for four years.

At its height, the audience hit 12.6 million as viewers tuned in to see Clancy gyrate to triumph in the BBC1 show to round off the 2013 series.

But both of Saturday night’s editions of Strictly pulled in an average of 11.5 million viewers according to overnight figures, which was some way behind the performance for the finale for recent years, and proved to be the lowest since 2009.

However, it was still millions ahead of rival The X Factor, which bowed out last week on an average of 8.5 million for its Saturday edition and 9.7 million for its Sunday results show.

Strictly has been well ahead of the ITV show this year. But Saturday night’s figures were no match for last year, when an average 12.4 million watched the main programme and 11.9 million watched the results show to see gymnast Louis Smith take the glory. In 2010 the figure was as high as 13 million for both shows.

And despite being down on previous years, it dominated viewing on Saturday night. The first programme pulled in 48 per cent of the TV audience at that time, and the results show achieved 46 per cent.

This year saw an all-female final with Clancy – and her partner Aljaz Skorjanec – beating off competition from Susanna Reid, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Natalie Gumede.

Bookmakers were breathing a sigh of relief after favourite Reid missed out on the title. William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams said: “Susanna was the subject of a sustained gamble in the last three weeks and she would have been our worst ever result in the show’s history.”