Entertainment & Arts

BBC boss 'sorry' Tom Jones upset after axed from The Voice

Tom Jones Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sir Tom Jones performed at V Festival over the weekend

The BBC's director of television Danny Cohen has said he is "truly sorry" Tom Jones was upset by the way he was axed from talent show The Voice.

Sir Tom said he was given "no idea" and "no warning" he would not be returning to the BBC One talent show.

The Welsh singer was a judge for the first four series, but will be replaced by Boy George for series five.

"I've got huge respect for Tom and I'm truly sorry he's upset, because I am a big fan of his," said Cohen.

"I think he's a gentleman, I think he's an extraordinary figure in music and you'll have seen the huge respect that all of the artists have had for him on The Voice throughout."

Cohen added he was "excited" about the new-look panel, which will feature Boy George and Paloma Faith alongside Ricky Wilson and will.i.am when the show returns in September.

When the line-up was announced two weeks ago, Sir Tom criticised producers in a post on his Facebook page, telling fans: "I was told yesterday, with no consultation or conversation of any kind, that I would not be returning.

"In good faith, as part of the team, I'd put the time in my schedule to be involved in series five, as I've done for the last four years."

Image copyright Other
Image caption Ricky Wilson, Paloma Faith, Boy George and Will.i.am will be the coaches for series five

He added: "Being informed, as a matter of duty and respect, is an important part of creative relationships. This sub-standard behaviour from the executives is very disappointing."

Sir Tom also paid tribute to the performers and production staff, adding: "I wish the show well."

A statement from the BBC said "no role was ever promised" to Sir Tom on this year's show.

"These things happen over time," said Cohen, "but I would never would want Tom to be upset and I am sorry that's the case."

He would not comment on whether he could see the singer returning to The Voice coaching panel for a later series, in a similar fashion to Cheryl Fernandez-Versini's X Factor return.

However he added: "I'd like him to go out on the BBC this year in something else... I hope he's back on the BBC very soon, I really do."

Related Topics

More on this story

Around the BBC