The biggest TV battle of the year so far is set to begin on Saturday night as the BBC’s new show The Voice makes its debut, and Britain’s Got Talent returns for a new series.

And as both shows prepare to hit screens, the war of words between the judges has stepped up a notch, this time with BGT’s Amanda Holden taking a swipe at Voice judge Tom Jones.

According to The Sun Amanda has suggested viewers should watch their show instead of watching 71-year-old Tom in action, saying, “He might be spinning in his grave next week.”

A show insider later told the paper that the actress had “the utmost respect for Tom” in spite of her remarks – but she is not the only one who has taken potshots at the singer.

Simon Cowell has also spoken out following Tom’s recent comments suggesting that the mogul had no idea how to judge singers as he has never been one.

He said, “Most artists who try and run record labels fail. That’s why they are artists. Can a singer judge another singer as well as a record executive?”

He also hit out at the BBC over the scheduling clash for the two shows, saying, “We were always going to air in March because of my timings. The BBC are doing this as they more they talk about us the more headlines they get. But I don’t like it when the shows clash. It is petty scheduling.”

Meanwhile, fellow Voice judge will.i.am has blasted Simon Cowell after he advised viewers “not to bother watching” the BBC1 show.

He suggested that the mogul was “not committed” to the careers of the stars he discovers on his shows including The X Factor – and citing the career of Cher Lloyd who was a finalist on the 2010 series.

“I love Cher Lloyd,” the rapper said. “She could have been one of the biggest stars in the world. But they didn’t treat her right. They juice the contestants to get people to watch TV. That is wrong. I can’t do that, I’m not going to be a part of that.”

The Voice begins at 7pm on BBC1, with Britain’s Got Talent following on ITV1 at 8pm, with a 20 minute overlap between the two shows.