Blades of glory! Dancing on Ice glides back on to screens with ratings success

The first episode of Dancing On Ice pulled in over half a million more viewers than the show's last launch episode in 2014.
Stars of ITV's Dancing On Ice 2018Stars of ITV's Dancing On Ice 2018
Stars of ITV's Dancing On Ice 2018

The return of the ice skating spectacular to TV screens after a four-year hiatus drew an overnight audience of 7.4 million viewers, ITV has said.

The launch episode in 2014 achieved overnight ratings of just 6.8 million, which were the lowest figures for a launch in the show's history.

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Another returning ITV favourite on Sunday night in the 8pm slot was Vera which, according to the broadcaster, claimed an overnight audience of 6.9 million viewers.

BBC One's Sunday night drama McMafia, starring rumoured Bond frontrunner James Norton, was watched by 4.1 million people.

The revamped Dancing On Ice (DOI) also trumped last year's launch episode of ITV's other big talent show, the X Factor.

The singing contest raked in an overnight viewing figure of just six million during its launch show in 2017, some 1.4 million less than DOI.

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During the first episode of DOI, fronted by Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, six of the 12 celebrities performed routines for the judges.

Love Island winner Kem Cetinay and reality TV star Jake Quickenden ended the episode at the top of the leaderboard with 20.5 points each for their routines.

The 2016 Great British Bake Off winner Candice Brown got the lowest score meaning she is in the first skate-off next week.

The celebrities to compete during next week's DOI are: singer Cheryl Baker, ITV weather forecaster Alex Beresford, Coronation Street's Brooke Vincent, singer Lemar, Scottish rugby star Max Evans and TV presenter Donna Air.

Overnight figures include those watching on ITV+1.

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