Oppa Strictly style! BBC One dancing show pips I'm A Celebrity in TV ratings war

The return of ITV's I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! was a ratings hit for the channel - watched by nearly one million more than last year's launch episode.

But it was still unable to top viewing figures for the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing on Sunday evening.

Ed Balls (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

I'm A Celebrity - with a line-up including TV stars Carol Vorderman, Larry Lamb and Olympian Sam Quek - was watched by an average of 10.7 million with a 45 per cent share in the 9pm slot.

Strictly's results show, broadcast at 7.15pm, claimed an average of 10.8 million viewers and a slightly smaller audience share in the time slot at 44.7 per cent, according to overnight data.

Carol Vorderman
Carol Vorderman (ITV)

Both celebrity-based programmes had peaks of 11.7 million - which, for Strictly, was the highest of the series.

I'm A Celebrity has not reached audience numbers this high since the 2013 final, which saw Westlife's Kian Egan named King Of The Jungle.

The programme's debut episode in 2015 had an average of 9.8 million viewers.

A picture of Kian Egan at the Radio Academy Awards 2014
Kian Egan loved his I'm A Celebrity experience (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The Ant and Dec-fronted show's strong start means it has become ITV's second most popular programme of the year in terms of audience ratings, behind the channel's Euros coverage of England vs Iceland.

The second episode of David Attenborough's Planet Earth II at 8pm was another success for the BBC with an average of 10.6 million viewers.

Snow Leopard were shown in Planet Earth II (BBC)
Snow leopards starred in Planet Earth II (BBC)

The nature documentary series kicked off last Sunday night with an average audience of 9.2 million.

ITV's The X Factor is continuing its stable streak as the results show was watched by an average of 6.4 million, nearly one million up on its Saturday night average of 5.5 million.

Strictly is still the biggest ratings winner on the TV schedule, with its current series the most popular in the programme's 12-year history.

An average of 10.9 million viewers have so far tuned in to the Saturday night instalment of the BBC's flagship entertainment show.

Analysis carried out by Press Association showed that figure was the highest recorded at the half-way point of a series.

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