High stakes for Simon Cowell as he takes on BBC's The Voice tonight
Simon Cowell is seen as Britain's TV superman round the world. So there are high stakes for him tonight when he challenges the BBC, launching Britain's Got Talent on ITV1 in direct competition with The Voice on BBC1.
Simon says he'll win
ITV went looking for the fight. They actually brought the launch of BGT forward to tackle the new BBC1 singing contest head-on.
"It has become a bitter rivalry," says the Guardian.
The Voice goes out at 7pm, BGT an hour later. So you can catch both - and decide.
Cowell said at one point he wanted to "punish" the BBC by poaching Strictly Come Dancing judge Alesha Dixon to join the panel on BGT.
BBC1 controller Danny Cohen described that comment as "bizarre." "We are making television, not at war," he said.
Cowell retorted that the BBC should "get their sense of humour back." He dismissed BBC suggestions that The Voice has more credibility than other talent shows.
He has gone on the record, "I am going to back my talent against theirs this year, that's for sure." Wow! The rhetoric!
The Voice - where celebrity coaches – including Sir Tom Jones, Jessie J and will.i.am – turn their backs on the singers in "blind auditions"- has been a big hit in America.
Cowell is the creator of ITV1's two biggest shows, BGT and The X Factor. But , says the Guardian, he had a 2011 to forget.
"The launch of The X Factor in the US failed to live up to expectations while the most recent series of BGT, with Cowell largely absent, was a shadow of its former self."
Cowell has a lot to prove on on BGT tonight. .