ITV are going out for a full on war to ruin BBC One’s talent show The Voice.
It isn’t the first time ITV have taken such steps to try and prevent a rival show from being a hit, after all this was the channel that pitched Paul O’Grady repeats against his new Channel 4 series. Now the network has apparently banned all mention of BBC talent show The Voice from its networks.
Newspaper reports suggest that programmes ranging from breakfast time flop Daybreak to lowbrow chat show Loose Women have all been banned from uttering a word about the BBC One singing contest.
Furthermore ITV bosses have also placed a ban on stars of The Voice appearing on any of the channel’s programmes. Executives are apparently concerned that the BBC could end up thrashing, established Thames TV produced talent show, Britain’s Got Talent in the ratings.
The ITV talent show, by airing slightly later in the schedules, has so far managed slightly better ratings for their show, however when both programmes went head-to-head for 20 minutes last week, it was the BBC show which came out the victor. Danny O’Donoghue, a coach on the BBC series, was due to appear on Daybreak but the interview was dropped with less than a day’s notice.
An ITV source told The Mirror: “Instructions have come from the very top at ITV – nothing on the network is allowed to promote The Voice in any way. The bosses have gone ballistic that shows on our channels have been plugging a rival. ITV are doing everything they possibly can to make sure The Voice isn’t the huge hit the BBC hopes for.”
The Voice is co-presented by Holly Willoughby who also hosts ITV’s This Morning. ITV executives have apparently also banned her from plugging the show on the daily magazine series.
It isn’t the first time ITV have tried to limit the success of a rival show. When Paul O’Grady defected to Channel 4 – taking his daily 5pm chat show with him – in spite ITV scheduled in repeats of his former ITV version head-to-head against new Channel 4 episodes. The stunt failed and after only three repeats ITV ditched them thanks to dismal ratings. They then banned all ITV stars from appearing on The Paul O’Grady Show.
It isn’t of course exclusively ITV who have tried to ruin other channel’s successes. In 1955 the BBC killed off popular character Grace Archer of The Archers soap opera on the evening ITV went on air in an attempt to stem their first night ratings.