Strictly wins TV ratings battle
Strictly Come Dancing has scored a major coup with more viewers choosing to watch the celebrity dance show's semi-final than the first leg of the X Factor's final.
The BBC programme had a peak of 12.3 million viewers who saw Chelsee Healey and Jason Donovan shake their bones to Latin beats to both receive the first full 40 points awarded this season.
Over on ITV, X Factor was only able to attract 11.8 million (12.1 million including ITV1+1) to see Amelia Lily lose out to girl band Little Mix and Liverpudlian Marcus Collins as they battled it out to reach Sunday's grand finale.
An average of 10.6 million people tuned in for the singing contest (10.9 million including ITV1+1) - as opposed to the 11 million who watched Strictly.
Strictly hit a peak 47.5% share of the audience at 7.50pm while X Factor reached 45% at 8.30pm, according to official ratings.
A BBC spokesman said: "We are delighted that so many millions of viewers tuned in to watch our couples dance for a place in next week's grand final, making us once again the most watched show of the evening."
The battle for audiences will reach its climax on Sunday as Little Mix and Marcus Collins go head-to-head to become this year's X Factor winner and the finalists for next week's Strictly Come Dancing final in Blackpool will be announced.
The other Strictly contestants are McFly drummer Harry Judd, The One Show presenter Alex Jones and Australian beauty Holly Valance. Five will be whittled down to three on Sunday night.