'X Factor' U.K. Ratings Beat BBC Dance Show for First Time This Season

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The Simon Cowell show included performances from Pharrell Williams and Taylor Swift

The British version of The X Factor on ITV on Sunday beat BBC dancing competition Strictly Come Dancing in the ratings for the first time this season, according to overnight data announced on Monday.

Sunday's Strictly results show drew an average audience of 8.5 million, compared with the 8.8 million reached by X Factor. It was the Simon Cowell music competition's first live results show of the season and included performances from Pharrell Williams and Taylor Swift.

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X Factor's audience was 700,000 viewers below the equivalent episode of last season though, according to data from ratings consultancy Attentional. On Saturday night, Strictly had drawn an average audience of 8.7 million, compared with X Factor's 7.7 million.

Meanwhile, the latest episode of Downton Abbey on ITV on Sunday averaged more than 7.7 million viewers in the overnight ratings, down 1.7 million from the equivalent season of the previous season.

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai