BBC's The Voice 'a karaoke contest'
Veteran BBC broadcaster Paul Gambaccini has branded the Corporation's new entertainment show The Voice a "karaoke competition".
The BBC1 show - which is reported to have cost more than a million pounds in total coaches' fees alone - begins this Saturday against ITV's Britain's Got Talent.
But Gambaccini, who hosts a show on Radio 2 and has earned the nickname 'the professor of pop', told the Radio Times: "The Voice is a karaoke competition, full stop.
"Although the American series was fantastic to rejuvenate the careers of two of the judges (Christina Aguilera and Maroon 5's Adam Levine), it didn't give us a viable artist."
Since making its debut in the Netherlands, The Voice has spawned hits around the world and even beat ratings for American Idol in the US.
The new BBC series features Sir Tom Jones, Jessie J, The Script's Danny O'Donoghue and Black Eyed Peas star will.i.am as coaches.
The show sees the coaches sit with their backs to the contestants in their first auditions so that they can judge on what they hear rather than see.
The BBC's controller of entertainment commissioning Mark Linsey told the magazine that the show was "so different and so exciting" because the coaches are "steeped in singing".
The Voice is being launched on Saturday at 7pm and will overlap with Britain's Got Talent, which kicks off on ITV1 at 8pm.