Simon Cowell has predicted that Britain’s Got Talent will trounce The Voice in the Saturday night ratings when it returns to screens next month.

The mogul made his remarks after the BBC One show was beaten by Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway over the weekend.

While The Voice opened with an average audience of 6.2m and peaked at 8.1m, Takeaway averaged over 7m viewers – including those on the catch-up service ITV + 1 – and pulled in a peak audience of 8.2m.

And Simon said he expected similar results when The Voice goes head to head with BGT.

Ant and Dec beat them on Saturday and we’ll do everything we can to keep in pole position. We did it last year and we are keen to win again this year,” he said. “May the best show win — as long as it’s ours!”

And he also remarked on his Twitter page: “I watched the first episode of britains got talent last night. Amazing. You are going to really like it.”

An insider said Simon was “thrilled” by the ratings, with The Voice experiencing a considerable drop-off from the 8.4m who tuned in to the launch show last year.

“Simon thinks if he can put the boot into The Voice now it will help BGT when it launches and give a boost to The X Factor when it returns in the summer,” the insider said.

“His biggest fear is people seeing The Voice as a replacement for The X Factor. He’ll do anything to stop that.”

Saturday’s edition of Takeway featured an appearance from Simon himself, as well as Piers Morgan becoming the latest victim of one of Ant and Dec’s pranks.

The show enjoyed a further boost after the pair’s 1994 hit Let’s Get Ready To Rhumble leapt to number one in the charts, after their Takeaway performance.