The Voice UK: ITV Scheduling Battle Reaches New Heights

Team BGT: Ready For Battle

Britain’s Got Talent is set to duel with BBC newcomer The Voice UK, when both shows air next weekend.

The talent search rivals are both due to launch on March 24 and it now looks like they will go head-to-head for viewer ratings for a hefty 50 minute chunk.

The Voice has already been shifted from a 7.15pm start time to 7pm in a bid to avoid clashing with BGT, but ITV have now decided to air the programme alongside its rival by shifting their start time as well.

BBC1 controller Danny Cohen had previously insisted the BBC would avoid a scheduling clash, saying: “We won’t want to be going head to head with BGT, that is not our intention.

“We’re not in a battle with anyone we’re not interested in raising tensions. I think X Factor’s a great show, I think Britain’s Got Talent is a great show. We’re really focussed on our show being brilliant.â€?

Having spent £25million on acquiring the format for the show, the BBC has done its best to avoid a direct clash with the ITV ratings giant. But it seems that Simon Cowell already has the smell of BBC blood up his nose.

He said: “I like the competition. You want to kill the opposition.â€?

Last week, ITV hit back at the BBC for their launch date. An insider said: “We always run BGT this time of the year so as far as we are concerned, the BBC parked its tanks on our lawn.â€?

The deadline for making final scheduling decisions about next weekend is today so unless either side retreat, viewers will be forced to pick between the two talent search extravagant.

Adding fuel to the fire, BGT will unveil a new trailer to promote the show tonight. The trailer will featuring the four judges coming together to complete a mission “for Queen and countryâ€?.

The spoof features the judges supposedly going about their daily lives – David Walliams gaily mincing about as a Victorian gent, Simon Cowell in a high-rise office, Amanda Holden is backstage at an old theatre while Alesha Dixon is dancing at a Cuban bar.

The judges then receive a mystery call summoning them to a secret mission, with the four donning their best outfits as they come together for the first time.

A show spokeswoman said the trailer was designed to ‘reflect a national mood of patriotism’ ahead of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and Olympic celebrations…

…and to naff off The Voice UK.