A New Year – another BBC/ITV scheduling showdown?
Fresh from its scraps with the Government over the BBC charter – when former culture secretary John Whittingdale criticised the BBC’s competitive scheduling of hit shows like Strictly Come Dancing against commercial opposition – the BBC appears to be in no mood to throw in the towel.
Early January is expected to see the launch of two huge Saturday night entertainment titans – The Voice which ITV has snaffled from the Beeb and BBC1’s shiny Gary Barlow Take That talent show Let it Shine fronted by Graham Norton.
The schedules have not been confirmed but word from both camps is that both programmes are heading for a head-to-head with each other in the first half of the New Year.
Saturday January 7th is the date when both shows are poised to make their opening episode debuts, according to well-placed sources in both camps.
Show veterans Tom Jones and will.i.am will be joined by new recruits Jennifer Hudson and Bush singer Gavin Rossdale when the singing contest The Voice makes its ITV debut.
Let it Shine sees the judges spend eight weeks in a search for talented individuals to form a band. The successful ones will eventually join the cast of a brand new stage show featuring the music of Barlow’s band Take That.
Glee star Amber Riley will appear as a judge during the first round of the competition, which will be presented by Norton and Mel Giedroyc (pictured).
The BBC and ITV declined to comment.