Simon Cowell has reportedly been in secret talks with the BBC over an idea for a new show, amid suggestions his relationship with ITV is on rocky ground.

The Mirror reports that the Britain’s Got Talent mogul approached BBC1 controller Danny Cohen with a proposal for a drama – a move which comes just days after ITV announced they had poached one of Cowell’s executives from his production company.

“Simon rang Danny Cohen to congratulate him on how well The Voice was doing,” a source told the paper.

“He then said he had a great idea for a brilliant drama and outlined it. He’s gone off to do a proposal and it will be treated like any other idea from an independent production company. If it’s brilliant then great.”

It would not be the first time Cowell has dabbled in drama, having worked on the 2008 series Rock Rivals about two married talent show judges. That show, which starred Michelle Collins, proved unpopular with viewers and has yet to return for a second series.

However a BBC insider said that they were “a long way off any commission” and added, “We’re happy to talk but there’s a feeling we could be used in Cowell’s ongoing war against ITV.

“Cowell wants the BBC to know he could be working with us – this is his way of showing them he has options. Danny doesn’t want to be played off by Cowell.”

The 52-year-old’s relationship with ITV has been affected by the recent release of Tom Bower’s no-holds barred biography, as well as his right-hand woman Shu Green being offered a job at the network to work on new Saturday night entertainment shows.