SIMON COWELL has congratulated the BBC after The Voice claimed victory against Britain's Got Talent in the television ratings war.
The BGT supremo took to Twitter to praise the BBC1 controller Danny Cohen and the rival singing show, which averaged around 400,000 more viewers.
An average of 9.5m viewers watched the UK version of The Voice compared to 9.1m for BGT, according to statistics from the two broadcasters.
The BBC's new singing competition also had a bigger share of the audience at 41.1pc when it aired between 7pm and 8.20pm. ITV's talent show pulled in 37.3pc.
In a light-hearted tweet referring to Pudsey the dancing dog that appeared on Saturday night's BGT, Cowell said: "A slightly irritated congrats to Danny and the BBC. But you didn't have a dancing dog!"
He added: "I thought our team made a fantastic show last night and congrats to them as well. Loving the show this year."
The music mogul (52) reportedly told BGT producers to raise their game following the ratings defeat.
ITV said Saturday's BGT was watched by a peak audience of 11.9m -- 11.3m excluding the channel's +1 strand -- representing a 47pc share of viewing.
The Voice's peak was lower at 10.7m but the BBC said it had won "by a massive margin" in the 20-minute crossover after 8pm when the two shows go head to head.
The Voice sees singers take part in blind auditions with judges Jessie J, Tom Jones, will.i.am and Danny O'Donoghue showing their approval for an act by swinging round in their chairs to catch a first glimpse.
Former X Factor judge Cheryl Cole also took to Twitter to praise the new programme -- but failed to mention BGT despite being a friend of Cowell.
Referring to her other close friend will.I.am, she tweeted: "He is so cheeky and mischievous! I love his and Jessie's banter."
Meanwhile, BGT's Analiza Ching, who has posed nude with her violin, defended the photo shoot. "I wanted to try something different and I really don't think anyone should be shy about their own body," she said.