Shows will overlap by over an hour

Strictly Come Dancing is to go up against The X Factor on Saturday nights.

The shows will overlap by 65 minutes now that the BBC has decided to schedule the latest series against the ITV programme.

Last year, Strictly started between 6pm and 7pm, which meant a clash was avoided.

But the first Saturday episode will now air live between 7.25pm and 9.05pm.

It puts it in direct competition with The X Factor, which starts at 8pm.

But the BBC – who’ve also announced plans to introduce a special Friday night episode for the first 2 weeks – have defended the move.

Strictly and X Factor have successfully co-existed on Saturday night for many years,’ a BBC spokesman tells The Guardian.

‘This year is no different. There is even more choice for viewers with Strictly launching on Friday and with an X Factor results show on Sunday.’

Strictly Come Dancing
kicks off on BBC1 on Friday 18 September.

SEE PICTURES The X Factor 2009>>

SEE PICTURES The X Factor: Where are they now?

SEE PICTURES Best moments from The X Factor 2008>>

SEE PICTURES The X Factor final 12>>

SEE PICTURES Strictly Come Dancing 2009 contestants revealed>> 

SEE PICTURES All the best moments from Strictly Come Dancing 2008>>

Get more news like this every week. Try 4 issues of the new-look Now for only £1>>