Sunday 4 December 2016

BBC boss ‘sorry’ Tom Jones upset about axing from The Voice but statement says 'no role was ever promised'

Published 26/08/2015 | 08:28

Sir Tom Jones is to be honoured for his music career
Sir Tom Jones is to be honoured for his music career

BBC director of television Danny Cohen has said he is "truly sorry" that Tom Jones is upset about the way he was axed from The Voice.

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Sir Tom wrote a lengthy Facebook post in which he accused the BBC of "sub-standard behaviour" by telling him he was axed just 24 hours before the new line-up was announced earlier this month.

The disgruntled music veteran said he was ditched "with no consultation or conversation of any kind".

It was announced that the Welsh star, who has been a coach on the show since it launched, and singer Rita Ora, who earlier announced she was quitting, are to be replaced by Paloma Faith and Boy George.

Tom Jones at Dublin's Olympia
Tom Jones at Dublin's Olympia

Cohen has apologised for the manner in which Tom was axed.

"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."

He added that he hoped to see Tom working on another project on the BBC "very soon".

Rita Ora has defected from The Voice to The X Factor
Rita Ora has defected from The Voice to The X Factor

In Tom's Facebook post he said he had put the time in his schedule to be involved in series five as he has done for the past four years.

However, a BBC statement said "no role was ever promised" to Sir Tom on this year's show.

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

The Voice returns in September with Paloma Faith and Boy George alongside Ricky Wilson and will.i.am on the coaching panel.

Culture Club frontman George, whose real name is George Alan O'Dowd, tweeted: "I have absolute respect for Tom Jones. The man is an absolute legend. Huge fan!"

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