Simon Cowell has admitted he poached Alesha Dixon for the Britain's Got Talent panel to hurt BBC rival Strictly Come Dancing.
The media mogul said his decision to sign up Alesha for his ITV show was partly because he liked her and partly to wound Strictly - which beat the X Factor in the ratings last year.
He did insist such tactical moves were "meant to be in good spirit."
He told The Sun: "My decision to poach her was 70-30 on the fact she was on Strictly and the fact I liked her."
The BGT judge went on: "When I was in America I'd read about the ratings battles going on here and I did think Strictly were getting a bit smug.
"They did great. With us and the BBC, I laugh about it, but there is unbelievable rivalry now. They want to be number one, I want to be number one.
"We do what it takes. It's a game - meant to be in good spirit, not supposed to be dirty tricks.
"We all begrudgingly shake hands when we see each other. You don't do anything for second place”, he said.
"But the Alesha thing was kind of fun."