Bruce Forsyth's last dance helps Strictly beat X Factor

Strictly Come Dancing: Claudia Winkleman, Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly
Strictly Come Dancing: Claudia Winkleman, Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly

Bruce Forsyth's public exit from 'Strictly Come Dancing' helped the BBC beat ITV's 'The X Factor' in last night's ratings.

The 86-year-old TV presenter, who has been with the show since its launch, lead a flashmob down the red carpet and into the ballroom.

He was joined by the series’ professional dancers and took part in a tap dance to "Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet", before handing over the co-presenting reins to Claudia Winkleman.

Tess Daly returns as a full-time host alongside Winkleman, while Zoe Ball hosts 'It Takes Two' with backstage news from the show during week days.

The parting bow at the start of this year’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ series helped attract 8.4 million viewers, a 33.7% share of the audience between 8pm and 9.15pm, according to unofficial overnights.

Over on ITV, a judging panel led by Simon Cowell for the fourth instalment of the new series of The X Factor attracted 7.6 million viewers, a 27.9% share, between 8pm and 9.05pm.

Strictly Come Dancing enjoyed a a five-minute peak audience of 9.4 million compared to 9.2 million for The X Factor.

Sir Bruce announced he was standing down at the end of the last series. He will continue to present one-off specials, such as the Christmas and Children in Need editions.

He said: "[Live television] takes its toll when you've been doing it for many years, it's a pressure thing.

"But I'm not retiring, that's the last thing in the world I want to do. This isn't Brucie walking into the sunset."

Celebrities pairings for Strictly Come Dancing 2014

  • Steve Backshall and Ola Jordan

  • Frankie Bridge and Kevin Clifton

  • Thom Evans and Iveta Lukosiute

  • Caroline Flack and Pasha Kovalev

  • Jennifer Gibney and Tristan McManus

  • Alison Hammond and Aljaz Skorjanec

  • Pixie Lott and Trent Whiddon

  • Scott Mills and Joanne Clifton

  • Judy Murray and Anton Du Beke

  • Sunetra Sarker and Brendan Cole

  • Greg Wallace and Aliona Vilani

  • Simon Webbe and Kristina Rihanoff

  • Tim Wonnacott and Natalie Lowe

  • Jake Wood and Janette Manrara

  • Mark Wright and Karen Hauer

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