STRICTLY Come Dancing's first live show of the series attracted an average audience of 8.9 million viewers, with a peak of 10 million, beating rival show The X Factor.

The BBC One programme, which saw the 15 celebrities and their partners take to the dancefloor for the first time in an episode lasting nearly two-and-a-half hours, was the most watched show across all channels on TV for the whole day and had an audience share of 47.3 per cent.

The X Factor, which aired on ITV after Strictly ended, pulled in an average of five million viewers and a peak of 5.6 million according to overnight ratings.

This marks a slight dip for Strictly compared to the equivalent episode last year, and a slight increase for The X Factor.

Last year's first live Strictly episode had an average of 9.3 million viewers and a peak of 10.2 million, while the episode of The X Factor that aired on the same evening pulled in 4.8 million with a peak of six million.