Strictly knocks X out

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TELEVISION audiences have plummeted throughout the latest series of the once unstoppable X Factor.

Throughout its 2012 run the its ratings have consistently been down on last year – and a fraction of its best.

Viewers seem to have turned over in droves since Simon Cowell left the show in 2010. By last weekend’s semi-final, the Saturday show was down 40 per cent compared with two years ago.

The show has been hammered by Strictly Come Dancing this year, at times trailing by as many as 2m viewers.

Failing to attract viewers near the series end will probably cause concerns for ITV bosses who normally saw The X Factor as one of their bankers in terms of audiences and advertising.