Sir Tom Jones on axe from The Voice UK: 'It was deeply insulting'

Published Tuesday, Aug 18 2015, 10:44 BST  |  By  |  Add comment
Sir Tom Jones has said the circumstances of his exit from The Voice UK were "deeply insulting" and lacking professionalism.

Fans were shocked last week when it emerged Sir Tom, 75, had been axed from the fifth series of the BBC talent show – and appalled when they learned he'd been given no prior warning of the decision.

It had been assumed that fan favourite Sir Tom would be returning alongside and Ricky Wilson, but instead he and departing coach Rita Ora were replaced by Boy George and Paloma Faith.

Tom Jones - The Voice UK promo photo. January 2015.

© BBC/Wall To Wall

Sir Tom made his feelings clear in a lengthy Facebook post after the news broke, saying he was disappointed by how everything had panned out.

Now, in an interview with The Mirror, he has further criticised the handling of the situation, saying: "It's not that I was let go, it is how it was handled. If indeed the producers were planning a cast change back in March / April, after the most successful year of the series in terms of viewer numbers, a warm and civilised conversation was in order at that time.

"That the executives in charge couldn't be ladies and gentleman about it, that they were filled with paranoia about a 'leak' above all, is deeply insulting to our professionalism."

The Voice UK, Ricky Wilson, Sir Tom Jones, Rita Ora,, Sat 10 Jan


Sir Tom with last year's coaching lineup: Ricky Wilson, Rita Ora and

Sir Tom's Facebook post last week had read: "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," Tom continued. "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."

A rep for BBC later said: "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."

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