Top audience of series for Strictly

File photo dated 11/9/12 of Denise Van Outen who has had to put rehearsals on hold for Strictly Come Dancing after damaging her neck. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday October 11, 2012. See PA story SHOWBIZ Strictly. Photo credit should read:

File photo dated 11/9/12 of Denise Van Outen who has had to put rehearsals on hold for Strictly Come Dancing after damaging her neck. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday October 11, 2012. See PA story SHOWBIZ Strictly. Photo credit should read:

First published in National Entertainment News © by

Strictly Come Dancing has landed its biggest audience of the series so far as it continued to stomp on The X Factor, with an audience two million ahead.

BBC1's edition of Strictly drew 10.4 million viewers - half a million up on its previous high so far this year, as Denise Van Outen once more topped the leader board with her paso doble.

Rival The X Factor on ITV1 pulled in an average of only 8.4 million - even including viewers on its +1 catch-up channel.

Once again it is a huge drop compared to the audience at this stage of the competition last year when an average 11.1 million people watched the show.

For weeks, The X Factor has struggled to replicate the ratings its has generated in previous years, although TV bosses will take some comfort in that it was 600,000 viewers up on the previous Saturday.

Denise's performance drew the biggest score of the series so far with her performance to White Stripes hit Seven Nation Army collecting nine points from each of the judges to give her a total of 36.

However bookmaker William Hill is making gymnast Louis Smith odds-on favourite to win the series. His performance picked up three nines, but notoriously low-marking judge Craig Revel Horwood was out of step with the others in giving just six points, which drew scorn from his colleagues.

Denise is at 5/2 to win, while Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh is 5/1.

It is the second week running in which Strictly has been two million viewers ahead of X Factor.

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