Strictly dances to ratings victory
Ratings woes have continued for The X Factor as rival Strictly Come Dancing waltzed off with victory again when the two shows went head-to-head.
BBC1's Strictly gained in excess of a million more viewers when the two shows overlapped for the second week running.
And ITV1's The X Factor saw its audience down by almost two million compared to the equivalent show in 2010. Normally the programme can expect its audience to build throughout the series, but viewers have remained static with an average of 10.1 million watching last night's third live show of the series.
Last year the show pulled in 12 million at this stage of the competition. Simon Cowell is said to have been unhappy with the performance of the show and chief judge Gary Barlow has already been critical of the standard of some of the acts.
Strictly pulled in an average of 9.4 million viewers, with 9.5 million watching as the show was screened at the same time as The X Factor for 15 minutes. The ITV1 talent show had 8.3 million at that time.
The X Factor had been building its audience year-on-year but the slowdown has coincided with the new judging panel - which features Barlow, Kelly Rowland, Louis Walsh and Tulisa Contostavlos - and the departure of show creator Cowell.
X Factor's audience peaked at 11.5 million, while Strictly - which saw the first perfect mark of 10 of the series as Harry Judd got top marks from Alesha Dixon - saw its highest point at 11 million.
The figures have seen the gap close between the rival shows, with the BBC reporting it had added nearly a million viewers to its peak audience, while X Factor's numbers dropped by at least 300,000 - last week ITV said the show had a peak audience of 11.9 million.
A BBC spokeswoman said: "As far as we are concerned we are absolutely delighted by our figures and delighted that more people are tuning in to see our celebrity dancers each week."
An ITV spokesman said: "11.5 million viewers watched last night's show as The X Factor continued to be the most popular programme on Saturday night television."