X Factor waltzes to victory in ratings battle

Ann Widdecombe's dance debut could not compete with the X Factor, with the ITV1 show pulling in almost 4 million more viewers.

The Saturday night programmes did not run against each other, with Strictly Come Dancing finishing at 7.25pm - 20 minutes before X Factor started.

But the average viewing figures will make uncomfortable reading for BBC bosses, with 7.1 million tuning in to the ballroom show's opening night, while ITV1's talent search pulled in 10.8 million.

The first episode of the BBC1 show saw celebrities including former Destiny's Child singer Michelle Williams, Felicity Kendal and a host of ex-soap stars join former MP Widdecombe on the dancefloor.