The Voice UK was a "wake up call", Simon Cowell admits

Simon Cowell (Britain's Got Talent 2012)

Simon Cowell has revealed he returned to Britain's Got Talent in a bid to help it win the ratings war against The Voice UK, describing the new BBC One show as a "wake up call" for him.

Speaking to The Sun, Simon explained how he has been planning the revamped BGT for close to a year, entering talks with Alesha Dixon as early as May, and having been in negotiations with David Walliams for even longer.

It was confirmed in September last year that the BBC had won the rights to air the new series, which started last night against the return of Britain's Got Talent.

"Knowing that was on the horizon, I got all of our team over to America last year," Simon admits. "I said, 'We're in a completely different place, this show has got to be the greatest series ever produced'."

Simon said: "If someone beats or competes, it means you've got to work better. And in a funny way the viewers benefit.

"I thought I'd make a difference because I was in the mood to do it."

But despite being close to praising the BBC for the new show, Simon in the end couldn't help but get yet another dig in, claiming they were jealous of his shows.

He added: "They wanted to have a pop at BGT because it's too popular and they don't like The X Factor being as popular as it is."

Both The Voice and Britain's Got Talent continue next Saturday night on ITV1.

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