Tory MP: ”The Voice’ is a very expensive advert’

Philip Davies is unhappy at the BBC show's promotion of Universal

Conservative MP Philip Davies has criticised the BBC‘s talent show The Voice for being “a very expensive advert for Universal”.

The BBC are thought to have paid a sum of over £20 million to secure the rights for the programme, which gives wannabe singers the potential prize of a recording deal with Universal.

However, with three of the show’s judges – Jessie J, Tom Jones and – being signed to the same label, Davies – who is the Tory MP for Shipley, West Yorkshire – told the Daily Star that the show was simply giving Universal free publicity and that the BBC had been wrong to acquire it.

He said:

The BBC has paid a fortune for The Voice. This now looks to be a very expensive advert for the record company, which not only gets a heavily-promoted winner but also a boost for its existing artists.

He went on to add: “The BBC appears to be using this format as a spoiler to sabotage ITV’s success with Britain’s Got Talent. I don’t think this is what the BBC should be doing.”

However, the BBC denied that they were favouring Universal and pointed out that one of the judges, The Script’s Danny O’ Donoghue, was signed to rival major label Sony. They also said representatives from other labels would be featured as the series progresses.

“In casting the coaches we spoke to the biggest stars in the music industry regardless of the labels they were attached to,” they said in a statement. “Two of three major labels are represented on the panel and throughout the series other labels will continue to be represented.”

Yesterday (April 3), Kaiser Chiefs singer Ricky Wilson claimed that he had been offered a position as judge on The Voice, but turned it down as it “just didn’t feel right”.