Strictly Come Dancing smashes own ratings record

By Ian Jones, Press Association

This year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing is officially the most popular in the programme’s 14 years on screen.

The show has attracted an average 11 million viewers every weekend in 2017, beating by a whisker last year’s all-time high of 10.9 million.

With a huge audience likely for this Saturday’s grand final, the figure is likely to rise even higher.

Strictly Come Dancing average audience (PA Graphics)

Strictly has not only broken its own records in 2017.

It has also enjoyed a bumper ratings lead over The X Factor, regularly pulling in about 4.6 million more viewers than its ITV rival.

The gap has grown every year since 2012, when Strictly first began to move comfortably ahead of The X Factor.

Strictly Come Dancing: average ratings lead over The X Factor. (PA Graphics)

The figures, compiled by the Press Association, show how Strictly has become one of the BBC’s biggest success stories of recent years – and how The X Factor has tumbled in popularity since the start of the decade.

In 2010 the ITV talent show was watched by an average of 14.1 million people every week.

This year the figure was just 6.3 million.

Debbie McGee and Giovanni Pernice in this year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing. (PA Images)

On current form there’s a chance the final of Strictly Come Dancing this Saturday will be one of the most-watched in the show’s history.

Last year the final had overnight ratings of 11.8 million, rising to 13.3 million when the full ratings were published.

The biggest-ever audience for a Strictly final was 14.3 million in 2010.

:: Strictly Come Dancing is on BBC One at 6.30pm on Saturday.

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