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X Factor bows out with record 14.6m viewers as Alexandra Burke wins show

LONDON - A peak audience of 14.6m viewers tuned in to see Alexandra Burke win 'The X Factor' final on Saturday night, giving the series the best ratings in its five-year history.

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The show captured a 54% share of the total viewing public between 9.40-10.40pm, according to unofficial overnight figures, as viewers tuned in to watch Burke go head to head with JLS and Eoghan Quigg for a recording contract.

The 2007 finale managed a peak of 12.74m viewers and a 55.1% share of the audience. The main show, which included guest acts Boyzone, Westlife and Beyonce, averaged 13.2m viewers and a 50% share of the audience between 7.10-8.40pm, an increase of nearly 2m on the previous year.

Sandwiched between the two shows, 'The Girls Aloud Party' featuring performances and sketches from 'The X Factor' judge Cheryl Cole's band, had 8.37m viewers and a 32.3% share of the audience.

ITV2's 'The Xtra Factor' pulled in 1.51m viewers and a 9.8% share of the audience between 8.40-9.40pm, while the earlier pre-results show had 743,000 viewers and a 3.2% share of the audience.

On BBC One, the 'Strictly Come Dancing' semi-final, which started at 6.10pm and finished just before 'The X Factor' began, was watched by 9.9m viewers and a 41.2% share of the audience. The ratings were up by around 700,000 viewers on the previous week.

The final episode of BBC One's 13-part lavish fantasy drama 'Merlin', which overlapped with the first 45 minutes of 'The X Factor', had a respectable 5.76m viewers and a 22.2% share of the audience between 7.10-7.55pm.

'Merlin' has been recommissioned for a second series and has been sold in 112 territories worldwide including recently closed deals in Germany, France, South Africa and Japan.

The show was also the first drama originating in the UK to be bought by a US channel in more than 30 years, after NBC bought the series.


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