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Last Updated: Monday, 15 November, 2004, 16:24 GMT
Dance show ratings shuffle ahead
Strictly Come Dancing
EastEnders' Jill Halfpenny is among the favourites to win Strictly Come Dancing
Strictly Come Dancing beat ITV's TV talent contest The X Factor in the ratings on Saturday.

The BBC show, which has celebrities learn to ballroom dance and compete against each other, was watched by 8.4 million people.

An average of seven million tuned in to watch Simon Cowell judge the musical talent on The X Factor.

This is a reverse of the opening weeks of both series, which saw The X Factor edge out Strictly Come Dancing.

A BBC spokesman said: "We are thrilled so many people are enjoying Strictly Come Dancing, we are confident it will get a lot more exciting as the series nears the final on 11 December."

Strictly Come Dancing goes out at 6.30pm, while The X Factor starts 15 minutes later. Both return for short updates later in the evening to give the results of the votes of who will be eliminated.

Last Saturday saw TV garden designer Diarmuid Gavin fail to impress with his pasa doble with professional dancer Nicole Cutler.

X Factor
X Factor contestants Cassie (l) and Tabby are mentored by Sharon Osbourne (c)
Last year's contest was won by news presenter Natasha Kaplinsky, who has stepped in to host the show in the temporary absence of Tess Daly who is on maternity leave.

Target audience

Viewers of The X Factor witnessed the group Voices with Soul voted off the show, leaving just five acts competing for a record contract.

Irish rock singer Tabby is currently the bookmakers' favourite to win the show overall.

ITV said the show was performing "exceptionally well" with its target audience of 16 to 34-year-olds.

Channel 4 enjoyed ratings success on Saturday with the terrestrial premiere of Bridget Jones's Diary, broadcast as the sequel was hitting the cinemas.

An average six million viewers watched Renee Zellweger's comedy exploits as the single woman who manages to fall into a string of embarrassing situations.

And 5.5 million tuned in to the BBC's coverage of the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance broadcast from London's Royal Albert Hall.

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