'X Factor' loses another ratings battle with 'Strictly'

'Strictly Come Dancing' landed its biggest UK audience of the series so far as it continued to beat 'The X Factor', with an audience two million ahead.

BBC1’s edition of 'Strictly' last night drew 10.4 million viewers – half a million up on its previous high so far this year, as Denise Van Outen once more topped the leader board with her paso doble.

Rival 'The X Factor' on ITV1 pulled in an average of only 8.4 million – even including viewers on its +1 catch-up channel.

Once again it is a huge drop compared to the audience at this stage of the competition last year when an average 11.1 million people watched the show.

For weeks, 'The X Factor' has struggled to replicate the ratings its has generated in previous years, although TV bosses will take some comfort in that it was 600,000 viewers up on the previous Saturday.

Van Outen’s performance last night drew the biggest score of the series so far with her performance to White Stripes hit 'Seven Nation Army' collecting nine points from each of the judges to give her a total of 36.

However bookmaker William Hill is making gymnast Louis Smith odds-on favourite to win the series.

Last night his performance picked up three nines, but notoriously low-marking judge Craig Revel Horwood was out of step with the others in giving just six points, which drew scorn from his colleagues.

Van Outen is at 5/2 to win, while Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh is 5/1.

It is the second week running in which Strictly has been two million viewers ahead of 'The X Factor'.

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