Strictly Come Dancing
The 2014 roster of Strictly Come Dancing celebrities BBC

BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing drew a bigger audience than ITV's The X Factor on Sunday night during the two rival show's first clash on television schedules this year.

The Guardian's John Plunkett tweeted the news this morning, saying that Strictly pulled in 8.4 million viewers to The X Factor's 7.6 million.

The BBC then tweeted a further breakdown, confirming the 8.4 million average and also a peak audience of 9.4 million.

Last night's Strictly was an introduction show pairing new celebrities including Pixie Lott and Judy Murray, with their dance partners. The show's twelfth series will begin properly on Saturday 26 September, at which point the ratings battle will start properly.

Strictly has consistently beaten The X Factor in the ratings over the past few years and did so with ease in 2013.

But with the returns of Simon Cowell and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini to The X Factor's judging panel, ITV execs will be hoping for a better showing against the celebrity dancing favourite.

Early signs were good. The first episode (Saturday 30 August) drew 9.5 million viewers, which was their best debut since 2011. However, losing out this past weekend when the two shows first clashed head on is not the most encouraging sign for the show's producers.