BGT and The Voice both claim ratings victory

Simon Cowell
Britain's Got Talent judge Simon Cowell. Photo: Reuters

ITV and the BBC both claimed victory in TV's battle of the Saturday night talent shows.

Viewing figures showed that BGT pulled in a peak audience of 12.2m (including the channel's +1 strand), representing a 49% share of the viewing. The Voice's peak was 2.4m fewer at 9.8m.

judges on The Voice
The Voice had 9.4m viewers tune into the debut show. Credit: BBC

However, the BBC said The Voice beat BGT when the two shows overlapped, with its show averaging 8.96m against BGT's 6.56m in the 20 minutes after 8pm.

ITV said the launch of BGT was the best-rated show of 2012, excluding soaps.

BGT
Britain's Got Talent's audience peaked at 12.2m Credit: ITV

ITV Director of Television Peter Fincham said:

BGT celebrates some brilliant acts and it's fantastic that the series remains such a firm favourite with viewers.

Jessie J
Singer Jessie J judges on The Voice. Credit: Reuters

The scheduling of both shows was controversial in the run-up to last night's clash, with the BBC accusing its rival of trying to sabotage their launch.

Relations were already strained following the loss of Alesha Dixon from the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing to join the BGT panel alongside Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and David Walliams.

On Britain's Got Talent, pop/opera duo Charlotte and Jonathan gave a ''goose-bump inducing performance''.

Responses to the shows on Twitter were mixed:

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Have to admit - BGT was great too and kept me entertained. But the Voice wins. http://t.co/QFY3Ok3j via @itvplayer

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@amanda_holden great show I bet the atmosphere was electric when Charlotte and Johnathan sang touched my soul! Pure strength and heart!

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So glad u all seem to be enjoying #BGT, told u it was good didn't I!? And I wouldn't lie to you!! Dx

Simon Cowell sent a tweet to Jessie J, one of the judges on The Voice, controversially suggesting that she should watch his show Britain's Got Talent.

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@jessiejofficial If you love talent please watch our show tonight. It proves Britain has got talent. Enjoy. X @gottalent