Simon Cowell has launched a war on Little Mix and announced he'll be launching a brand new format, X Factor The Band, to rival the girls' talent show, The Search.

The music mogul was the one who discovered Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall back in 2011 and put them together in a now hugely successful girlband. But that hasn’t stopped him from going head-to-head with his former protégés.

Having launched X Factor Celebrity last month, Simon had planned to follow the series with X Factor All Stars – which would see former acts such as Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke return to the stage.

But, after catching wind of Little Mix’s plans to front brand new BBC show, The Search, rumours started swirling that Simon had a change of heart.

He told The Sun, “This is what really happened. I was approached to co-produce that show last year by Little Mix’s management.

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“I told them the problem was we have a conflict of interest because we are launching X Factor The Band in 2020. We were told their show was going to launch in 2021.

“Then we had the fallout and find out Little Mix were bringing their show forward. Was that intentional because we are doing our show? I have no idea.”

Despite the similar nature of the shows meaning there will be competition for viewers, Simon said it only adds to the excitement.

READ MORE: THE REAL REASON LITTLE MIX CANCELLED PART OF THEIR TOUR 

“It 100 per cent makes it more exciting there being a battle.”

Simon’s record label, Syco, managed Little Mix after they won X Factor back in 2011 right up until November last year when they parted ways over a “disagreement”. The girls have since moved to RCA – part of the larger Sony group.

Simon – who is married to Lauren Silverman – insisted there’s no bad blood with the girls and said the fall out happened with their management, Modest Management.

“Basically, they said we’d done a terrible job,” he admitted. “I had agreed not to talk about this publicly because I thought it was a private matter.

“I said, ‘we can’t work with the management, it’s as simple as that’.”

But, on Simon’s end there are no hard feelings. “As I said in my email to them, I stand by the fact they are the hardest working bunch of girls I’ve ever worked with. They deserve everything they’ve got.”

We wonder if they’ll still be on good terms once they hear the knew of X Factor The Band?

All we know is we’ve got a definite reason to stay in on Saturday nights. Bring on 2020!