The 13th series of Strictly, which launched on Saturday 5 September, achieved a 41.7 per cent share for its time slot.
The first episode of the new series paired 15 celebrities, including former pop star Peter Andre, BBC broadcaster Jeremy Vine and TV chef Ainsley Harriott, with professional dancers. They will now train for the next three weeks.
The celebrity talent show beat ITV's The X Factor which attracted an average audience of 7.5 million, and a 34.5 per cent share. It was shown later in the evening between 8.15pm and 9.30pm.
Last week’s series opener for The X Factor also failed to beat the opening episode of Strictly Come Dancing.
The singing talent show, which features its creator Simon Cowell, alongside fellow judges Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw, attracted an average audience of 7.1 million people, and a 35.9 per cent share of the overall viewers between 8pm and 9.30pm.
This year’s line-up of celebs and their dance partners for Strictly Come Dancing are:
Ainsley Harriott and Natalie Lowe
Jay McGuiness and Aliona Vilana
Jeremy Vine and Karen Clifton
Iwan Thomas and Ola Jordan
Jamelia and Tristan MacManus
Kirsty Gallacher and Brendan Cole
Kellie Bright and Kevin Clifton
Georgia May Foote and Giovanni Pernice
Helen George and Aljaž Škorjanec
Daniel O'Donnell and Kristina Rihanoff
Peter Andre and Janette Manrara
Anthony Ogogo and Oti Mabuse
Katie Derham and Anton du Beke
Carol Kirkwood and Pasha Kovalev
Anita Rani and Gleb Savchenko