RATINGS! 8 million watch Strictly Come Dancing launch

Strictly Come Dancing 2019 - Launch Show

A peak audience of more than 8 million viewers tuned in to Strictly Come Dancing's launch on Saturday.

The 2019 series of Strictly kicked off this weekend with its pre-recorded opening episode.

An average audience of 7.8 million viewers tuned in for the show, peaking with 8.3 million viewers.

The numbers are slightly down on 2018's launch, where an average of 8.1 million (peak 8.5 million) tuned in.

However Strictly was still the biggest show of the weekend by some margin, as this year's celebs met their professional dancers.

This year's pairings include Catherine Tyldesley & Johannes Radebe, Saffron Barker & AJ Pritchard, Michelle Visage & Giovanni Pernice and Alex Scott MBE & Neil Jones. Joining them are James Cracknell OBE & Luba Mushtuk, Karim Zeroual & Amy Dowden, Chris Ramsey & Karen Clifton and David James & Nadiya Bychkova.

Also paired up in the launch show were Emma Barton & Anton Du Beke, Viscountess Emma Weymouth & Aljaž Škorjanec and Anneka Rice & Kevin Clifton. Completing the launch line up were Will Bayley MBE & Janette Manrara, Mike Bushell & Katya Jones and Dev Griffin & Dianne Buswell.

The launch show also saw the celebs take part in their first group dance before heading into training for the live shows, which begin in two weeks' time on September 21.

Over on ITV last night and Britain's Got Talent: The Champions continued with an average audience of 5 million viewers, peaking with 5.6 million (via the Press Association)

The second heat of the brand new spin-off series saw two more acts make it through to the final.

Acts that featured included German dog act Alexa Lauenburger, dancers MerseyGirls, Italian musician Antonio Sorgentone, ventriloquist Paul Zerdin, the first comedian to ever win BGT, Lost Voice Guy and series 5 winner, singer Jai McDowall.

Britain's Got Talent: The Champions will continue next Saturday night at 8:15PM on ITV with its third of five heats.

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