'Strictly Come Dancing's launch show attracted its lowest-ever number of viewers over the weekend.

Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly

Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly

The BBC show attracted an audience of 7.2 million viewers for the inaugural show on Saturday (18.09.21), and while those numbers remain broadly impressive, they still represent a significant drop from last year's 8.6 million.

A source said: "The ratings are sure to pick up once the live shows start next weekend, and viewers get to see whether the celebs can actually dance – or not."

The launch night audience reached its peak in 2016, with a viewership of 9.3 million, while 2019 saw just under eight million tuning in.

However, it's believed that the weather was a key factor in explaining the viewing figures.

The TV source told the Sunday Mirror newspaper: "Lots of people had been out and about enjoying the early autumn sunshine and will probably watch on catch-up today."

Meanwhile, Craig Revel Horwood has tipped John Waite and Johannes Radebe to win this year's 'Strictly'.

The duo have formed the first ever all-male pairing on the show, and Craig views them as the frontrunners in this year's competition.

He said: "I’ve been championing this for five years and finally it has come to fruition. They look like they’re going to be a couple to beat.

"I really want to see them do an Argentine tango together. I think it will be absolutely fierce."

Despite this, Craig thinks they will face tough competition from kids TV presenter Rhys Stephenson and his professional partner Nancy Xu.

He said: "Oh my god, I totally love him. And his dancing. He is shining on that dancefloor. He has some moves that not even the pros can do. I love his dancing. He’s got it all. Really incredible."