Simon Cowell is reported to be furious with the judging panel on the UK X Factor after the show lost more than two million viewers.

Cowell, who is working on the US version of the TV talent show, is said to have called his UK team last night and told them to “sort it out” after BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing trounced X Factor in the ratings.

A total of 11.4 million viewers tuned into the X Factor’s live show this weekend, down 700,000 on the previous week, and a disastrous 2.3 million fewer than the 13.7 million who watched the same stage last year.

To add insult to injury, Strictly Come Dancing beat X Factor by a million viewers during the half an hour in which the prime time Saturday night shows went head to head.

A source told The Sun newspaper: “Simon is furious. This would never have happened on his watch and he wants the team to know this and sort it out.

“He knows there is great talent on the show, but he thinks the attention to detail has been shocking. The acts are not being showcased at their best.”

The tabloid also reported that Cowell is expected to call Take That star and head judge Gary Barlow to command he and the other judges “raise your game”.

Insider gossip points the finger at US diva Kelly Rowland for causing unrest on the show. According to inside sources, Rowland has been meddling with the other judges’ acts.

One source apparently said: “Kelly is trying to turn this into The Kelly Show with her meddling — and it’s really putting people’s noses out of joint.

“The contestants love it as they’re in awe of her but the judges hate it.”