Simon Cowell Waltzes Off With BBC One Entertainment Format ‘The Greatest Dancer’

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Simon Cowell is finally heading to BBC One after the X Factor impresario secured his first deal with the British public broadcaster. The network has ordered The Greatest Dancer from Cowell’s Syco Entertainment and FremantleMedia’s Thames.

The broadcaster has ordered eight episodes of the entertainment format for Saturday night. It has not confirmed any talent for the show, but a pilot filmed last featured Girls Aloud star Cheryl Tweedy, Glee star Matthew Morrison and Strictly Come Dancing dancer Oti Mabuse. It was hosted by Alesha Dixon and Jordan Banjo.

The series will feature a host of talent from across the world of dance as they give the performances of their lives in the search for the UK’s best dancer. From ballet to jazz; hip hop to Bollywood; the show will feature a number of genres as well as “dramatic” auditions, challenges and live performances.

It marks the first BBC show for Cowell, who hosts and executive produces ITV’s The X Factor. The record industry executive has long been keen to crack a commission for the BBC, previously having been in talks over entertainment formats as well as scripted series.

The Greatest Dancer will be executive produced by Nigel Hall, Global Head of Television, Syco Entertainment, and Amelia Brown, Managing Director, Thames TV. The series was commissioned for BBC One by Charlotte Moore, Director BBC Content, and Kate Phillips, Controller Entertainment Commissioning. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Kalpna Patel-Knight.

Phillips said, “With the continued success of Strictly Come Dancing, the BBC is undoubtedly the home of dance. By launching The Greatest Dancer we want to give the vast array of dance talent across the UK the chance to shine. I can’t wait to work with Syco and Thames to uncover the talent out there and let our audience critique and celebrate the nation’s unsung dance heroes.”

“The auditions for the pilot episode saw some of the most jaw dropping, heartfelt and moving auditions I’ve ever seen on a dance show. There are some spectacular moments and we are beyond thrilled to have secured this commission over fierce competition. We look forward to working with the BBC team on something just a little bit special,” added Syco’s Hall.

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