Strictly Come Dancing attracted a huge audience on Saturday night, and won the ratings war against its main rival, The X Factor. The two shows overlapped by 45 minutes, but the dancing show boasted an average audience of 9.3 million viewers, while the singing reality competition received just 4.8 million.
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Aston topped the leaderboard
Speaking about the results, a source told The Sun: "The figures are better than anyone had hoped for. The show is getting bigger and bigger. The competition with The X Factor is well and truly won." Strictly saw celebrities including Debbie McGee, Aston Merrygold and Ruth Langsford show off their moves for the first time. Former JLS band member Aston topped the leaderboard with 31 points, narrowly beating Debbie, who achieved 30 points. The TV personality, 58, surprised audiences at home with her moves, with one person tweeting: "Debbie McGee. Geez lady! #Strictly." Pointless co-host Richard Osman added: "I've got money on Debbie McGee at 33-1. I think she's going to be the surprise package of #Strictly this year. Though I'm usually wrong."
Strictly won the ratings war against X Factor
Meanwhile, Brian Conley and Ruth Langsford won up in joint last place on the leaderboard with 16 points apiece, and the This Morning presenter spoke about her place on Instagram, writing: "Delighted @mrantondubeke thought I was marvellous... Shame the judges didn't agree! Bottom of the leader board... gutted for Anton more than me. Oh well... onwards & upwards!"
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It was an emotional evening on the show as contestant Chizzy Akudolu took the opportunity to send her love to her Holby City co-star John Michie, following the tragic death of his daughter, Louella, at Bestival earlier this month. Speaking after her performance, she said to Claudia Winkleman: "Can I just say real quick, big love to John Michie and all his family. From all the Holby family, we're all thinking of you."