Why X Factor's Strictly second best

rivals: Bruce Forsyth puts boot in to Simon Cowell's show and its judges' 'scripted arguments'

Andrew Hough

ONE has been slowly but surely building up a loyal following. The other has been casting fans off in droves.

And veteran TV man Bruce Forsyth thinks he know why Strictly Come Dancing is knocking the socks off reality TV rival, The XFactor.

Better music, better talent - and no artificial rows between the judges.

Ok, so Forsyth is the host of the dancing show -- but he's seeking to explain why his show is now regularly pulling in one million viewers more than the hugely hyped XFactor.

The 83-year-old said the artificial feuds had put viewers off and were the reason the X Factor was falling behind.

He admitted he was "thrilled" that the popular BBC One show had "done so much better this year than in other years".

Forsyth said that while it was also a "reality show", Strictly had a better format, music, singing and comedy.

In comparison, The X Factor had repetitive singers and "judges making up rows between themselves".

The host, who has performed for 70 years -- 50 of those on prime time television -- believes the fights were "scripted".

He also admitted his show's celebrities had improved in talent, which he believed helped improve audience figures.

But the veteran performer, who co-hosts the show with Tess Daly, conceded that the judges could make comments "in a funnier way, maybe".

Asked in a radio interview if X Factor was struggling, he replied: "Well, I think it is struggling more in the press, than I think in anything else.

"Although ours is a reality show, we do have people getting up and doing something, we have got beautiful music going on, great singers, we have comedy from the judges, there is (also) comedy from me.

"So it has other things to offer, not just singer after singer after singer and judges making up rows between themselves ... scripted, I think."

The latest viewing figures showed Strictly had a million more viewers than X Factor in last Saturday's ratings.

He admitted that he had toned it down after he used to be quite "caustic" and "cutting" towards stars. "I used to have fun with them," he said.

Asked if he was "driven by a sense of rivalry" and if he "watched what the other side is doing", he replied: "Of course, all of this is all nonsense.

"And as Simon Cowell came up to me last year actually ... he said 'it is all banter, isn't it'. I said 'of course it is'."

He recounted a time when he bumped into Cowell's mother in London store Selfridges, when he was having lunch with his Puerto Rican-born wife Wilnelia, a former Miss World.

"She said 'I watch Strictly. I watch it every Saturday and I love it'," he said.

"I said 'I am glad you do. It is nice to know that Simon Cowell's mother likes our show'."

A spokesman for The X Factor was unavailable for comment.