Simon Cowell's company to produce BBC dance show that could rival X Factor

Simon Cowell's entertainment company is to produce a new talent series for ITV's rival broadcaster - the BBC.
Simon CowellSimon Cowell
Simon Cowell

The corporation has announced its first-ever partnership with the producers of ITV's flagship Saturday night talent shows, The X Factor and (Britain's) Got Talent.

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It has commissioned Syco Entertainment, owned by Cowell, and Thames, the entertainment arm of FremantleMediaUK, to produce a new Saturday night dance talent series.

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The show, to be called The Greatest Dancer, will see dancers from across all genres of the art form compete in the hopes of being named the UK's Greatest Dancer.

The BBC's Controller of entertainment commissioning, Kate Phillips, said: "With the continued success of Strictly Come Dancing, the BBC is undoubtedly the home of dance. By launching The Greatest Dancer we want to give the vast array of dance talent across the UK the chance to shine.

"I can't wait to work with Syco and Thames to uncover the talent out there and let our audience critique and celebrate the nation's unsung dance heroes."

Syco entertainment's global head of television, Nigel Hall, said: "The auditions for the pilot episode saw some of the most jaw dropping, heartfelt and moving auditions I've ever seen on a dance show.

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"There are some spectacular moments and we are beyond thrilled to have secured this commission over fierce competition. We look forward to working with the BBC team on something just a little bit special."

Thames TV's managing director, Amelia Brown, said the format was "full of warmth and heart with the pilot revealing some incredibly magical moments".

"It's sure to make an unmissable Saturday night treat for the whole family to enjoy."

The series was commissioned by the BBC's director of content, Charlotte Moore and Phillips, with the BBC's Kalpna Patel-Knight listed as commissioning editor.

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While transmission times have yet to be confirmed, there is a possibility that prime time viewing on a Saturday night could be dominated by shows produced by Cowell's company.

Saturday night staples such as the X Factor or Britain's Got Talent could go head-to-head in the ratings against The Greatest Dancer if they are scheduled for broadcast at the same time.

BBC One's flagship dancing show, Strictly Come Dancing, has dominated Saturday night ratings for the last few years.

The Greatest Dancer has been commissioned for BBC One.