X Factor viewing figures drop to six million for opening night

The new series of The X Factor has kicked-off with six million viewers in the UK – the lowest launch since the show first began in 2004.

The return of Simon Cowell’s ITV talent contest drew an average of six million viewers (32% share), peaking with 6.9 million (36%).

It is a drop from last year’s opener when an average of 6.8 million and a peak of 7.5 million peak tuned in.

The figures make it the lowest launch since the programme – this year with Cowell, Nicole Scherzinger, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh back on the judging panel – first kicked-off in 2004, when 4.9 million watched the opening night.

Simon Cowell
Simon Cowell (Jon Super/PA)

But The X Factor was by far the most watch programme of the night, with the next highest rating show in the UK being Casualty on BBC1 with 3.5 million viewers.

The 14th series of The X Factor began on Saturday, a week before the return of BBC1 rival Strictly Come Dancing.

The show continues on Sunday night, when viewers will see a singer who lost five stone, a dinner lady called Gaga and a grandmother who brings Simon Cowell fish fingers.

Numbers include ITV’s plus-one channel but are set to rise when consolidated figures are calculated for viewers watching on catch-up.


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