Simon Cowell: The X Factor will win ratings war with Strictly Come Dancing
X Factor judge Simon Cowell has laughed off any ratings rivalry with Strictly Come Dancing, joking about the BBC's lack of a star-studded line-up.
The TV mogul has reprised his role as a judge on this year's series of the ITV singing competition alongside Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, with Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw joining the panel, while celebrities such as Peter Andre, Jamelia and Daniel O'Donnell will be showing off their moves on the Strictly dancefloor.
The two shows are set to coincide during their live stages, with Cowell describing the scheduling conflicts as "avoidable clashes".
Cowell, 55, said The X Factor could easily beat Strictly in the ratings war: "I'd hate to say yes, because I know what will happen if I say yes, it will come back and haunt me.
"This show does feel better, the talent's great, they're interesting, so if it's us versus Peter Andre, I'm going to put my money on us."
He added: "I have really had a good time this year. You want judges who want to judge the talent and actually want to find an artist - that's what I noticed when I was working with these guys, and with Olly and Caroline.
"It is like being on a new show. It's been fun. I have had my moments with Madame (Fernandez-Versini), but overall I've had a really good time this year. It's been unpredictable."
The 12th series of The X Factor, which begins on ITV on August 29, also sees former Xtra Factor presenters Caroline Flack and Olly Murs taking over hosting duties on the main show from Dermot O'Leary, and Louis Walsh stepping down from his judge's seat since the show started in 2004.
"The good thing about Louis is he's going to be able to go to bed earlier. He can watch the show in bed in his PJs and he can call me after the show," Cowell joked.
"We've got a couple of seats in the live shows - restricted viewing - but I'm looking after him. Maybe we'll make him Judge of the Week one week or something."
Fernandez-Versini said: "He's a really good sport. He came down to our promo and he did a bit to show he's a good sport about it. He's happier, actually, not being on it."
Grimshaw added: "He came into the dressing room that me and Rita had and he was the happiest he's ever been. He was like, 'You two do not know what you have got yourself into'. He was really happy. But he did want there to be a fifth judge."