X Factor ratings hit an all-time low

The television talent show 
X Factor pulled in its lowest audience of the series on Saturday night, overnight ratings show.

The shock news came as 
Doctor Who returned to BBC1 with a surprise appearance for the Doctor’s new assistant Oswin, played by Jenna-Louise Coleman, showing a slight audience increase on last year’s launch episode.

The third edition of ITV1’s 
X Factor pulled in an average of 8.6 million viewers last night – including viewers watching on the +1 channel – while 8.7 
million had watched the first two shows of 2012.

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At this stage of the competition in 2011, the programme was consistently pulling in more than 10 million viewers. The first episode of Doctor Who – which saw a return for the Daleks – drew an average of 6.2 million, which was 200,000 up on the last series when it began in 
August 2011.

Coleman’s debut had been kept secret despite a number of preview screenings. Executive producer and head writer Steven Moffat said: “This show has been seen at four separate screenings, across four different countries and yet not one person gave one spoiler.”

He has been irked by people giving away the plot in the past.