Strictly Come Dancing's show on September 19 lost nearly a million viewers, compared to its launch on September 18, with fans claiming new judge Alesha, 30, was a turn-off. More than 2,000 called the BBC to complain about her, blaming it on her "wooden" performance and lack of real dancing knowledge, and they even called for her to be dumped and for former judge Arlene Phillips, 66, to be reinstated.
But BBC bosses last night hailed the entire weekend as a success for Strictly, and it will refuse to back down and move the show so that it does not clash with Cowell's ratings juggernaut. "We are providing a fantastic line-up for viewers," the Daily Star quoted a BBC spokesman as saying. But an X Factor insider said: "It just shows once and for all what the most popular show on the box is."