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September 2, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Giving at least the appearance of bowing to Simon Cowell, the creator, producer and judge on Britain’s The X Factor, the BBC announced late today (Thursday) that its hit series Strictly Come Dancing will not air opposite The X Factor when the two shows launch their new seasons on September 11. Earlier in the day, an interview with Cowell in the London Sun quoted him as saying that the BBC’s decision to go head-to-head against his program represented “a disservice to the license-fee payer.” All TV set owners in Britain are required to pay an annual license fee that supports the noncommercial BBC. Cowell told the Sun: “We don’t pay the license fee for people to play games with ratings.” Last season the two programs did indeed challenge one another, with Strictly Come Dancing, the show that gave rise to America’s Dancing with the Stars, ending up on the losing end. Cowell sardonically advised the BBC to air their show in the afternoon so that its older audience “can have a nap … and watch X Factor later.” The BBC later said that it plans to air the one-hour Dancing beginning at 6:25 p.m. The X Factor, which is broadcast on ITV, is scheduled to air at 7:45 p.m.