Last night’s Strictly Come Dancing launch suffered a drop in ratings with an average of 7million viewers tuning in, according to overnight ratings.
This marked a dip in viewing figures from last year’s first episode, which was watched by an average of 8.6million.
Saturday night’s instalment revealed who this year’s 15 celebrities have been partnered with, with the BBC announcing it achieved a 44.7% audience share and had a peak of 7.3 million viewers.
Last year’s series opener, which came during a time of unusually strong ratings amid the pandemic, achieved a lower audience share of 42.2% but a higher peak of nine million viewers.
Rugby player Ugo Monye was confirmed as dancing with two-time Strictly champion Oti Mabuse, who is hoping to secure her third consecutive win, while three-time Olympic champion Adam Peaty was paired with Katya Jones.
EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis was partnered with Giovanni Pernice and is the first deaf contestant to appear on Strictly.
The episode also saw Anton Du Beke make his debut as a full-time judge and receive a standing ovation from the studio audience.
Last year’s winners Bill Bailey and Mabuse revisited their routine to Rapper’s Delight by the Sugarhill Gang and Anne-Marie performed her single Kiss My (Uh-Oh).
On Wednesday, the BBC confirmed a professional dancer had tested positive for Covid-19 but the launch would be unaffected as it was pre-recorded.
The night before the launch, the broadcaster said in a statement that it does not ‘comment on speculation of somebody’s Covid vaccination status’ after reports two professionals had refused the vaccine.
Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 7pm on BBC One.
Credit: Original article published here.