Simon Cowell: BBC 'to blame' for The Voice and Britain's Got Talent schedule clash


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The Independent Culture

Britain's Got Talent (BGT) boss Simon Cowell said the BBC has no one to blame but itself for its Saturday night schedule problems.

Yesterday BBC1 ducked out of a long head-to-head battle with ITV by pushing back The Voice to a later slot in order to avoid a clash with BGT.

The BBC has been unhappy that ITV is screening its show at 7pm - an hour earlier than last year. The two programmes will go up against each other this week but on April 20 The Voice will move to a later time to stop a lengthy overlap which it said was in the interest of viewers.

But speaking at the launch of BGT today, show chief Cowell said he had not asked for a ratings war - and the BBC had caused their own problem.

He said: "You've got to remember that they brought this show to the UK two years ago to compete with us.

"We were there already on Saturday nights. They're the ones that wanted a competition, we never asked for it, they did. So it's their problem, not my problem."

Cowell, 53, spoke as he headed up the red carpet for the launch of series seven of BGT, arriving with ex-girlfriend Sinitta.

The pair turned up shortly before Cowell's ex-fiancee Mezhgan Hussainy attended a screening of the first edition of the show.

Judge Amanda Holden said she wanted a comedian to triumph in this year's BGT.

Speaking as she headed into today's series launch, the 42-year-old said: "The comedy genre this year is really strong. We've got some brilliant impressionists and some brilliant comedians, which thrills me because every year I say I'd like a comedian to win."