Welcome back: David Attenborough's Blue Planet returns with a ratings victory

Sir David Attenborough's Blue Planet II
Sir David Attenborough's Blue Planet II

The first episode of Sir David Attenborough's second series of Blue Planet waltzed all over Strictly Coming Dancing in Sunday night's ratings by pulling in on average over half a million more viewers.

The BBC One series, screened some 16 years after the original, aired at 8pm, directly after Strictly, and was watched by an average of 10.3 million people, according to the BBC.

Blue Planet II's peak audience figure was 10. 6 million, figures from the corporation show.

Sunday night's spooky-themed results instalment of Strictly attracted an average audience of 9.6 million and was watched by a peak of 10.4 million viewers, the BBC says.

Viewers said farewell to Sunday Brunch presenter Simon Rimmer as he became the fifth celebrity to leave the BBC One dancing series.

The X Factor's second live show on Sunday night was watched by an average of 4.6 million viewers with a peak of 5.5 million, ITV said.

Simon Cowell was absent from the X Factor judging panel, after he was taken to hospital on Friday following a reported tumble down the stairs in his London home after he fainted.

Cowell missed both Saturday and Sunday's shows following the incident, which he told The Sun doctors believe may be down to low blood pressure.

Britain's Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon stepped in to take his place on the judging panel on Sunday night, as wildcard contestant Talia Dean became the second contestant to leave the series.

Dean, who was the wildcard in judge Nicole Scherzinger's Overs category, had to hang up her microphone after she received the lowest number of public votes during Sunday's programme.

During the first X Factor live show on Saturday night, American-born singer Spencer Sutherland was named as the first contestant to leave singing competition.

ITV's figures include those watching on the ITV HD and ITV+1 channels