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BBC's Danny Cohen 'sorry' Sir Tom Jones is 'upset' over The Voice axe

Published 26/08/2015

Sir Tom Jones said he was told 'with no consultation or conversation of any kind that I would not be returning' to The Voice
Sir Tom Jones said he was told 'with no consultation or conversation of any kind that I would not be returning' to The Voice

A top BBC executive has spoken out following the departure of singer and coach Sir Tom Jones from The Voice.

The BBC's head of television, Danny Cohen, said he was "sorry" that Sir Tom was "upset" after the Welsh singer recently hit out at what he called "sub-standard behaviour" from "the executives" following his departure from the show.

He told fans he had only been informed 24 hours before the new coaches were announced that he would not be returning.

Mr Cohen said: "I've got huge respect for Tom and I'm truly sorry he's upset. I'm really sorry because I am a big fan of his. I think he's a gentleman and an extraordinary figure in music."

He said he would definitely like to see Sir Tom back on the BBC "doing something else".

Sir Tom posted a long message on his Facebook page, saying: "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."

Paloma Faith and Boy George will join the show alongside returning coaches Will.i.am and Ricky Wilson for the fifth series of the competition.

Mr Cohen said he was "excited" about the new panel, but added: "I would never want Tom to be upset and I'm sorry that's the case."

The fate of the show on the BBC has been much discussed as the contract with The Voice creators ends after its next run.

While Mr Cohen did not comment on the show returning beyond that, he said "we should keep fighting for entertainment on Saturday nights on the BBC that reaches a wide range of people".

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