Simon Cowell in ‘secret talks’ to leave ITV for BBC?

Reality TV show mogul eyeing up drama series on rival station, say sources

Simon Cowell could be set to leave ITV for the BBC, according to reports.

The Mirror says that the reality TV show mogul, who has been behind a slew of hit shows for the station including The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, has been in “secret talks” with the rival broadcaster after he pitched a potential new drama series to BBC One controller Danny Cohen.

Reports have claimed that Cowell has been unhappy with the lack of support shown by ITV for Britain’s Got Talent during its rating battle with the BBC’s new talent show The Voice, and he was also said to be displeased that the channel had hired Syco employee Shu Green, who helped him develop shows such as The X Factor, to work on new ideas for in-house Saturday evening programming.

The source said: “Simon rang Danny Cohen to congratulate him on how well The Voice was doing. He then said he had a great idea for a brilliant drama and outlined it. He’s gone off to do a proposal and it will be treated like any other idea from an independent production company. If it’s brilliant then great. We’ll see a treatment then get it developed in the normal way.”

However, another insider claimed that Cohen had been unhappy that Cowell had been supposedly discussing the idea amongst friends. “We’re a long way off any commission. We’re happy to talk but there’s a feeling we could be being used in Cowell’s ongoing war with ITV,” they said. “Cowell wants the BBC to know he could be working with us – this is his way of flexing his pecs and showing them he has options. Danny doesn’t want to be played off by Cowell.”

Last month (March 19), Cowell hinted that the next series of The X Factor could be its last. The reality pop juggernaut appeared to falter last year with ratings dipping and the new judging panel coming in for criticism.