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Singer unhappy at lack of consultation

Sir Tom vents fury at BBC over Voice axe

Sir Tom JonesSir Tom Jones has criticised BBC executives after being axed from the judging panel of the next series of The Voice.

The veteran singer accused the corporation of “sub-standard behaviour” after it revealed he was being replaced by Boy George for the fifth season.

He posted a message on Facebook saying: “Shocked and disappointed about The Voice UK. I was told yesterday. No idea, no conversation, no warning.”

Sir Tom, who has been a coach since the first season, wrote: “Having been through plenty of transformations throughout the years, I support and admire creative change.

“But 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.”

In the first series, the Welsh star mentored Leanne Mitchell to victory and only last month said he was looking forward to returning to the show.

Fellow judges Ricky Wilson and Will.i.am will be joined by Boy George and Paloma Faith, who takes over from Rita Ora following her move to ITV rival The X Factor.

The BBC said: “The final decision on the coaches line-up for series five of The Voice was only taken on Wednesday and Tom’s team was informed early yesterday morning.

“We then announced it to the press so that it didn’t leak. This has been the same every year and no role was ever promised.

“The chemistry between the coaches is extremely important and that they all represent different musical genres and we feel the new line up is exactly what the show needs. We look forward to seeing Tom on BBC One in October with his Children in Need concert.

“Tom hasn’t been axed or fired from The Voice. He was out of contract once series four ended in April and that contract has not been renewed.”

The Voice UK suffered a turbulent start in 2012 and viewing figures have been variable. It topped the ratings on its first Sunday outing this year but the series finale, won by Scottish firefighter Stevie McCrorie, attracted a peak audience of only 7.9 million.

However, it was recently suggested that it could be a casualty of the Government’s review of the BBC’s charter.

McCrorie went on to perform at T in the Park and The Wickerman Festival but there have been doubts over the series’ ability to produce winners who have made it to lasting stardom.

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