Singing show The Voice lost out in the Saturday night ratings war when it returned for a second series at the weekend.
The BBC1 talent contest, which sees contestants take part in blind auditions so that coaches Jessie J, Tom Jones, Will.i.am and Danny O'Donoghue can judge them on their voice alone, had an average of 6.2 million viewers, an audience share of 26.9%.
However, Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway was seen by a million more viewers, with an average of 7.2 million, making it the highest-rating show of the night, according to ITV1.
Both shows claimed to have achieved a peak audience of 8.2 million during transmission.
A BBC spokeswoman said: "It's a great start to the new series of The Voice UK with the highest peak audience of the night, with over eight million viewers which grew throughout the show."
Contestants taking part in the first show of the new series of The Voice included former chart star Kavana, real name Anthony Kavanagh, and visually-impaired singer Andrea Begley. Coaches only turn their chairs around to see the face behind the voice if they like what they hear, with the singers then given the choice of who they want to be their mentor if more than one has expressed interest.
The rival show saw Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly joined by guests Lewis Hamilton, Simon Cowell and Michael Buble. The Geordie hosts hit the number one spot yesterday with "Let's Get Ready to Rhumble", a single originally released in 1994 which they performed on last week's show. A second series of Saturday Night Takeaway has been commissioned for 2014, ITV1 announced last week.
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