According to reports, music mogul Simon Cowell, has been in secret talks with the BBC out of revenge after feeling betrayed by the ITV, his relationship with which is apparently at an all-time-low.
Cowell, who has fronted the ITV Saturday night entertainment package for the past 11 years, has now begun discussions with the networks bitter rivals, BBC to jump ship and work for them.
According to reports, Cowell has “personally wooed” BBC1 controller Danny Cohen with a pitch for a new drama.An insider 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.”
It would seem, however, that Cowell is not that aware of the standard script proposal system, and has been bragging to friends about his “new BBC drama” before it has even been decided if it will be commissioned, something that has not pleased Cohen in the slightest.
A BBC source warned: “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.
“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.”
The troubles in Cowell’s relationship with the ITV began when Cowell branded the network “unsupportive” after his biography release, causing an uncomfortable atmosphere, made much worse when he had his right-hand woman, Shu Green poached last week to make new in-house Saturday night shows for ITV in direct competition with Cowell’s shows.
Cowell was said to be furious over the move, which he described as a “slap in the face” and rang ITV Studios’ boss Denise O’Donoghue last week to demand an explanation.
An ITV source commented: “Shu is brilliant. If she can help us create great new formats for entertainment and talent shows, we won’t need to rely on Cowell so much”
Shu said last week: “After almost a decade working with Simon, the most amazing producer and talent I have ever met, I felt this was the right moment to step into my own light. I intend to put my heart and soul into putting ITV Studios back where it belongs – at the heart of Saturday night entertainment.”
This situation has resulted in Cowell believing he is being “undermined” by the channel that he has worked with since the very first series of Pop Idol back in 2011.
According to Tom Bower, the author behind the tell-all biography, Sweet Revenge, Cowell was also left feeling betrayed by the channel when they made the decision to overrule him on the rehiring of Gary Barlow for the X Factor head judge job, leaving the talent show guru branding the network “unsupportive”.
Bower said: “Without Cowell their ratings would sink.
“Cowell’s view is that he is doing an amazing amount for them. He is a perfectionist and they’re ungrateful.”
Watch a clip from Simon Cowell and David Walliams on the Jonathan Ross show below: