Over 12 million viewers tuned in for the final of Strictly Come Dancing 2012, early figures show.

Strictly Come Dancing 2012 Winner

The series climaxed with two instalments on BBC One last night, the first of which aired between 6.30pm and 8pm and attracted 12.3m viewers, a 49% share of the audience. Later, 12.1m (46%) returned for the final result at 9pm to see Olympic gymnast Louis Smith crowned the series’ winner.

A peak audience of 14m viewers tuned into the celebrity dancing competition.

Danny Cohen, Controller BBC One says of the success, “Strictly has enjoyed an outstanding year, with dancing and entertainment of the highest quality. Darcey Bussell has been a tremendous addition to our wonderful judges, and there is a positive and warm energy about the show that families and people of all ages have enjoyed. Strictly’s warmth is at the heart of its success and I want to thank all those on and off screen for helping to make it such a brilliant series.”

Elsewhere on BBC One, the penultimate episode of fantasy drama Merlin held the attention of 7.2m viewers (30.2%), BBC News drew a massive 8.4m (36.6%) at 10pm following Strictly, while earlier in the evening Pointless Celebrities appealed to 5.9m viewers (29.2%). BBC One’s success meant woes for ITV1 whose biggest audience of the evening went to Paddy McGuiness’s Show and Telly which had 2.9m (12.4%) at 8pm.

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