X Factor's return to television on Saturday drew average ratings of 8.7 million, peaking at nearly 2 million less than it commanded at the same time last year.
Its audience peaked at 9.9 million around 8.45pm making it the most popular primetime show on Saturday night, although the numbers pale in comparison to the 12 million peak it achieved during its launch show last year.
ITV attributed the figures to regular viewers being out on the hottest day of the year, as a spokesperson said: “The X Factor launched on the hottest day of the year and its audience was still over double that of the next nearest programme.
“We have a great series ahead, with some fantastic talent this year that viewers can look forward to.”
The show’s executive producer Richard Holloway said: “We’re still the number one show on television. Is there anything to complain about? Not really.”