Saturday Ratings: Strong return for Merlin

The return of fantasy drama Merlin to BBC One for a third series proved a hit with viewers on Saturday evening.


The return of Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday evening to BBC One was something of an modest affair. The new series of the celebrity dancing competition features the likes of Ann Widdecombe, Felicity Kendal and Scott Maslen but it seems as though viewers are lukewarm to its return. According to overnight ratings the launch of Strictly Come Dancing was seen by 7 million viewers on BBC One between 6.25pm and 7.26pm. Following the dancing competition on BBC One was the season premier of Merlin – back for a third season. The fantasy drama started strongly with 5.8 million viewers – starting off with over 6 million viewers but losing some to the X Factor which started on ITV1 at 7.45. The figure is a strong return for the drama especially given it faced tough competition midway through its episode from the X Factor. Following Merlin was the National Lottery Show which had 4.3 million viewers and medical drama Casualty which had just 4.1 million viewers. The Last Night of the Proms on BBC One pulled in 3.9 million viewers.


Over on ITV1 and All Star Family Fortunes had a steady 4.6 million viewers followed by the X Factor which had an impressive 10.1 million viewers. 71 Degrees North had 4.8 million viewers at 9pm on ITV1.