Friday 22 June 2018

Boy George praises Sir Tom Jones after replacing him in BBC's The Voice

Boy George is joining The Voice for the fifth series of the BBC One competition
Boy George is joining The Voice for the fifth series of the BBC One competition

New coach on The Voice Boy George has expressed his admiration for Sir Tom Jones.

The Welsh star has accused the BBC of "sub-standard behaviour" over his axing from the reality singing contest, saying he was told only 24 hours before the new line-up was announced that he would not be returning to the show.

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

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!"

It was announced last week that Sir Tom, 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 George.

In a post on his Facebook page, Sir Tom said on Friday night: "In good faith, as part of the team, I'd put the time in my schedule to be involved in series 5, as I've done so for the last 4 years.

"I've supported the show and the BBC since the beginning. I was told yesterday, with no consultation or conversation of any kind, that I would not be returning. 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.

"I will always admire the courage of the performers who participate in the show, as well as all the production staff who worked tirelessly to make a great family viewing experience for the audience at home. I wish the show well."

The new coaches join the show alongside and Ricky Wilson for the fifth series of the BBC One competition.

Sir Tom, 75, who had hits with It's Not Unusual, Delilah and Sex Bomb, mentored Leanne Mitchell to win the first series.

Filming on the fifth one is to begin at Media City in Salford, Manchester, in September.

Emma Willis and Marvin Humes will return to host the show, which will air next January.

A BBC spokeswoman said on Friday night: "The final decision on the coaches' line-up for series 5 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."

Press Association

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