Thursday 14 December 2017

BBC picks up £15K Savoy hotel bill for Tom Jones

Sir Tom Jones coached last year's winner of The Voice Leanne Mitchell
Sir Tom Jones coached last year's winner of The Voice Leanne Mitchell

By Rosa Silverman

The BBC is reportedly spending almost £15,000 ( (€17,500) ) of licence fee payers’ money for the singer Sir Tom Jones to stay in London’s upmarket Savoy Hotel.

The broadcaster is said to be paying his £695-(€812) a-night room bill when he does so, putting him up at one of the country’s most exclusive hotels.

A BBC source told The Sun he would stay on a “room only” basis during his estimated 21 days of filming, and the tab would not cover a private butler – a service offered to guests at the hotel.

Wall To Wall, the production company behind The Voice, is understood to be handling the payments using the £11 (€12.8) million budget with which the BBC has provided it.

A BBC spokesman said: "All coaches have their own agreements with the production company for the series.

"For Sir Tom Jones this includes his accommodation as he does not live in the UK." 

It also emerged this week that the BBC has used licence fee payers' money to buy the silence of more than 500 staff with payouts of up to £500,000 each.

Figures released under Freedom of Information legislation show that in the past five years 539 staff have signed gagging orders at a total cost of £28 (€32) million.

In last year’s series of The Voice,  Jones guided Leanne Mitchell to victory, but figures released earlier this month showed she had sold fewer than 1,000 copies of her debut album in a week.

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