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Cowell furious after X Factor loses 2m viewers

Simon Cowell is reported to be on the warpath after the X Factor UK lost over two-million viewers this weekend while its prime-time rival Strictly Come Dancing saw its audience grow.

Approximately 11.9 million viewers watched the X Factor's live show on Saturday which was a loss of 700,000 compared to the week before and 2.3 million less than this time last year.

Although a show insider had previously claimed that Cowell fully trusted the X Factor's UK production team to make the show a success without him, the media mogul is now reported to have been angered by the current viewing figures.

'Simon is furious. This would never have happened on his watch and he wants the team to know this and sort it out,' an unnamed insider told The Sun.

'He knows there is great talent on the show, but he thinks the attention to detail has been shocking. The acts are not being showcased at their best.'

To rub salt into Cowell's wounds BBC's Strictly Come Dancing saw its audience grow to 10.1million viewers on Saturday night with a million more viewers tuning into the celebrity dancing competition during the half hour period when the shows air head-to-head.

Strictly had 9.6 million viewers when the show ended at 8.15pm on Saturday while the X Factor, which had started at 7.45pm, had approximately 8.8 million.

The loss of viewers could hit Cowell directly in the pocket with phone voting now expected to be down compared to previous years.

A spokesperson for ITV, however, has defended the show's current ratings: 'The X Factor continued to be the UK's most watched entertainment show and ITV1 was the most popular channel across peak time.'

While Sunday's results show did much better than Saturday night's offering pulling in 13.5 million viewers, Cowell may be starting to regret his decision to leave the X Factor UK to concentrate on the US version of the franchise.

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