The Voice UK 'to leave the BBC' after fifth series

The Voice contestants

The next series of The Voice UK will be the last to be broadcast on the BBC, after it was "poached by another broadcaster", the corporation says.

Mark Linsey, acting director of BBC Television, said in a statement that it "wouldn't get into a bidding war or pay inflated prices to keep the show".

The next series, which begins in January, will be the fifth to be shown by the BBC.

The show's new broadcaster has not yet been confirmed.

Mr Linsey said: "The BBC is incredibly proud of The Voice, but the fifth series which starts in January will be our last.

"We always said we wouldn't get into a bidding war or pay inflated prices to keep the show, and it's testament to how the BBC has built the programme up - and established it into a mainstay of the Saturday night schedule - that another broadcaster has poached it."

Funding politics

Last month the BBC said it had made a "final" bid to keep the show for two more years.

Boy George and Paloma Faith will join and Ricky Wilson on the judging panel for the next series.

The show is currently made for BBC One by production companies Talpa and Wall to Wall. ITV bought Talpa for £355m earlier this year.

The Voice was singled out in a consultation paper published by the government, ahead of the BBC's charter renewal, as a format that is "similar to ITV's X Factor", and which was bought in from overseas rather than being developed in-house.

Culture Secretary John Whittingdale has questioned whether such shows are "distinctive" enough from those aired by commercial rivals.

In August, the BBC's director of television Danny Cohen - who is leaving his role at the end of November - defended the corporation's right to air entertainment shows like The Voice.

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