Simon Cowell angry at Strictly Come Dancing / X Factor schedule clash

Published Friday, Aug 29 2014, 10:02 BST  |  By  |  Add comment
Simon Cowell has slammed Strictly Come Dancing bosses for scheduling its first show to clash with X Factor.

It's been confirmed that the new series of Strictly will kick off with a launch show on Sunday, 7 September at 8pm on BBC One - the exact time an episode of X Factor is scheduled to go out on ITV.

Simon Cowell, The X Factor photocall, ITV
26 August

© ITV / Nicky Johnston

And it's fair to say X Factor mogul Simon isn't happy.

"They [the BBC] didn't have to put it on at the same time as us but they did, and it means people now have to make a choice, whereas before it was more of a gentleman's agreement," he told The Independent.

"I always think that when producers do that, the people they are p**sing off are the viewers. They say that this isn't a ratings battle. It is. That's why they did it. When you know you've got two of the most popular shows of the year, it doesn't make sense to me to make the viewers choose. It's not a smart thing to do in my opinion."

X Factor will launch its 11th series this weekend with a show airing on Saturday, 30 August and another the following night.

Simon concluded: "But it just shows the producers of Strictly Come Dancing for what they are. They don't want this show to do well; they don't want people to watch it. Our job is to do the best we can, so people prefer The X Factor to them."

A spokesperson for BBC, however, has told The Mirror that the clash was unavoidable due to an episode of Coronation Street being added to the ITV schedule on Sunday, 7 September.

"We always try to avoid direct clashes but it's important that Strictly launches in prime time and with the extra episode of Coronation Street coming in, it's unfortunately left us with very little room to move on this occasion."

The lineup for this year's Strictly has been pretty impressive so far. It includes The Saturdays singer Frankie Bridge, ex-TOWIE star Mark Wright, popstar Pixie Lott, EastEnders' Jake Wood and, interestingly, former Xtra Factor presenter Caroline Flack.

Meanwhile, over on X Factor, it will be a big year as it sees the return of judges Simon Cowell and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini to the panel for the first time in three years. They're joined by stalwart judge Louis Walsh and newcomer, Spice Girl Mel B.