Simon Cowell won’t go head to head with Strictly again as The X Factor: Celebrity avoids clash on Saturday night – The Sun

SIMON Cowell won’t go head to head with Strictly Come Dancing again this year as The X Factor Celebrity will air just after.

The music mogul usually competes for ratings, and loses, against the BBC show but has decided to avoid a clash this year.

On Saturday evening the first episode will air at 8.35pm on ITV, just moments after Strictly finishes on BBC1.

So far Strictly's ratings have grown week on week with an average of 7.9million watching last weekend.

Last year the BBC1 dance show averaged 11million viewers, while The X Factor failed to top eight million.

The series, which had Robbie and Ayda Williams on the judging panel along with Louis Tomlinson, also saw overnight audience figures plummet to some of their lowest in its 15-year history while rival show Strictly continued to flourish.

However despite this the ITV show was renewed for three series last year, with Simon revealing it still makes a lot of money.

He told The Sun: "It makes a lot of money. We're losing people now but fortunately the young audience has actually grown this year and all the advertisers and the sponsors want that income on a Saturday."

And this year Simon has really mixed things up to keep things exciting for viewers – by launching the celebrity version.

This weekend viewers will watch as Martin Bashir, Ricki Lake, Brendan Cole and several Love Islanders compete against 11 other acts to win a record deal.

Louis Walsh, who is making a comeback as a judge alongside Nicole Scherzinger, admitted that in the past Simon had tried things on The X Factor "that didn't really work".

He said: "I love the show. I watched it last year from home and, you know, it was different but I think the fun is back this year. I think just me, Simon and Nicole, it's going to be great.

"People have to change and Coronation Street changes the cast every few years, you have to change and try different things.

"Simon tried a few things, you know, and it didn't really work. So I'm back."

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