Doctor Who returned to BBC1 for a new series with more than 6 million viewers, beating ITV1 rival Red or Black? on Saturday night.

The BBC1 sci-fi drama averaged 6.4 million viewers and a 29.3% audience over 50 minutes from 7.20pm. ITV1's Ant and Dec gameshow Red or Black? averaged 3.5 million viewers and a 15.7% audience share between 7.25pm and 8.10pm.

This was something of a reversal of fortune from the first weekend in September 2011, when Doctor Who – returning for the second half of last year's series – averaged 5.5 million and 25.9% against Red or Black? with 6.6 million and 29.9%.

On Saturday, ITV1's The X Factor averaged 8.6 million viewers and a 36.8% share from 8.10pm, then a second instalment of Red or Black? had 3.3 million and 14.4% from 9.10pm.

The X Factor was once again the most-watched show on any channel on Saturday. However, it was down from 11.1 million and 43.4% for the equivalent weekend in 2011, when the later Saturday edition of Red or Black? had 7.2 million and 30.1%.

Doctor Who's 2011 series began earlier in the year, with 6.5 million and 36.7% from 6pm on an unusually warm Easter Saturday in late April.

On Saturday The X Factor was up against BBC1's The National Lottery: Secret Fortune, which averaged 3.1 million and 13.6%. BBC1's Casualty averaged 4.1 million viewers and an 18.1% share between 9pm and 9.50pm.

The Jonathan Ross Show had 2.5 million viewers and a 13.2% share on ITV1 over an hour from 9.55pm. Ross's ITV1 show lost out to BBC1's late news (9.50pm: 4.1 million/18.9%) and Match of the Day (10.10pm: 3.7 million/23.2%).

Also in the Saturday night mix was BBC2's BBC Proms 2012 (7.30pm: 1.5 million/6.6%, including 82,000 on BBC HD) and Who on Earth Was Ford Madox Ford? A Culture Show Special (9.30pm: 500,000/2.5%, including 18,000 on BBC HD) and Channel 5's Celebrity Big Brother (9.10pm: 1.5 million/6.6%).

Channel 4 enjoys "Superhuman" Saturday

The Paralympics TV broadcaster has decided to extend its coverage of the remainder of the 2012 London Games on its main Channel 4 network, switching afternoon daytime programming to More4, after another day of strong ratings for its self-styled "Superhuman" Saturday.

On Saturday evening Channel 4 enjoyed five minute peaks of 3.5 million viewers – including 200,000 on the Paralympics Extra service – at 8.05pm (for swimming) and 9.25pm (for athletics).

Overall Channel 4's Saturday evening Paralympics 2012 programme averaged 2.7 million viewers and a 12.2% audience share between 7pm and 10.30pm.

Earlier, Ellie Simmonds' world-record-breaking gold medal win in the 400m freestyle S6 drew a five-minute peak audience of 2.9 million viewers at 6pm.

Channel 4's Paralympics coverage made the network the most watched of any between 2.30pm and 4.45pm, and again for 45 minutes from 5.45pm.

Paralympics 2012 averaged 1.5 million viewers and a 14% audience share between 1pm and 6.30pm.

Channel 4 had an all day share of 11.7% on Saturday – not far behind ITV1's 12.5%.

The Last Leg with Adam Hills averaged 1 million viewers and a 6.6% share on Channel 4 from 10.30pm – the show's best audience yet.

All ratings are Barb overnight figures, including live, +1 (except for BBC and some other channels including Sky1) and same day timeshifted (recorded) viewing, but excluding on demand, or other – unless otherwise stated. Figures for BBC1, ITV1, Channel 4 and Channel 5 generally include ratings for their HD simulcast services, unless otherwise stated

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Contributor

Jason Deans

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