Veteran performer, Tom Jones, told the Guardian recently that he was eager to return for the 5th season of The Voice UK when it returned to the airwaves. However, the BBC announced on Thursday it had replaced him with 80s pop star, Boy George, in an effort to “shake things up”.
Gossips had will.i.am. leaving the program, but he’s returning–the only original coach left in a series of nine over a span of four years. Ricky Wilson is also set to return. Rita Ora moved on to rival The X Factor UK, this season, and singer Paloma Faith is set to take her place.
Boy George said about joining The Voice: “I’m thrilled and excited to be a judge on The Voice UK. I’m a huge fan of the show and have watched and engaged with it from series one. If I can help someone to win I will be delighted. I can’t wait to sit in that chair!”
Paloma Faith added: “I’m really excited about working with creative people who are there not just to be great singers, but also innovative personalities and performers. I have a long history of helping break artists as in my club nights I booked Kate Nash, Adele, and The Noisettes before they hit the big time, and four of my band members have gone on to pursue successful solo careers. I’m really looking forward to getting my teeth into something that cultivates the talents of another person and takes the focus off myself for a bit!”
BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore congratulated the team and thanked Tom for his contributions. “Boy George and Paloma will bring a wealth of musical talent, expertise and unpredictability to our new coaching lineup,” she said, “Their originality and flair will shake things up on the red chairs and take the audience by surprise.”
“I’m thrilled to welcome back will.i.am and Ricky, and would like to personally thank Sir Tom Jones for his dedication and commitment to the last four series.”
Oof. Poor Tom. Unceremoniously axed.
…And he’s not happy about it! Tom blasts The Voice on his Facebook page
About The Voice UK: 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.