22 December 2013
Last updated at 08:04 ET
Abbey Clancy started the series as a complete beginner before going on to win with partner Aljaz Skorjanec
More than 12 million people tuned in to see this year’s Strictly Come Dancing winner Abbey Clancy lift her glitterball trophy on Saturday night.
The last five minutes of 2013’s results show peaked at 12.6m according to overnight figures, with an average of 11.5m watching across the evening.
Despite attracting almost half the TV audience – a 48.1% share – it is the lowest ratings for a final since 2009.
Clancey said she was “gobsmacked” to beat Susanna Reid and Natalie Gumede.
Fellow finalist and singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor was eliminated at the start of the results show.
“I still don’t feel like it’s real. It’s insane, I’m in shock,” said Clancy to reporters backstage, after she and partner Aljaz Skorjanec had been announced this year’s winners.
More than six million votes were cast during the first all-female final in the show’s 11 series history.
The 2013 series has continually beaten rival talent show X Factor in the ratings, with 8.5m tuning in to last Saturday’s X Factor final, a million down on the previous year, and 9.5m watching Sunday’s results show.
However, this year’s Strictly final did not prove as popular as in the last few years. A peak audience of 14m saw Olympic gymnast Louis Smith win 2012’s series, up from 13.3m in 2011.
Despite this, BBC One controller Charlotte Moore called Strictly 2013 “a vintage year” which had culminated in a “dramatic all women final which saw Abbey crowned champion.”
Former Coronation Street actress Gumede had topped the leader board on Saturday night but the judges’ comments and scores were only for guidance, as it was the public who decided between she, Clancy, Ellis-Bextor and the former bookmakers’ favourite, BBC Breakfast presenter Reid.
“I would tell anyone who gets the opportunity [that they should] do this show, because it’s literally the most magnificent thing ever,” said Clancy after winning the series.
“It’s made me so happy. It’s given me a new lease of life.”
The model, who ran and jumped into footballer husband Peter Crouch’s arms after the camera stopped rolling, said she could not wait to be with her two-year-old daughter.
“I can’t wait to take this glitterball home and show her. She’s going to be over the moon,” she said.
Clancy added that she would be keeping her trophy “on the mantelpiece, so everyone can see it”.
All of the finalists, and some of the series’ other stars, will take part in the Strictly Come Dancing live tour in January and February next year.