BBC boss says he is ‘truly sorry’ for upsetting Sir Tom Jones with ‘The Voice’ axe

Veteran singer recently criticised BBC executives for showing 'sub-standard behaviour' towards him

The BBC’s director of television, Danny Cohen, has said he is “truly sorry” that Sir Tom Jones feels disappointed with the way he has been treated by executives working on The Voice.

Earlier this month the corporation announced that Boy George and Paloma Faith would be joining the talent show’s panel for its fifth series next year, sitting alongside returning “coaches” Ricky Wilson and will.i.am. Jones, who has been with the show since it launched in 2012, has lost his spot on the panel.

Shortly after the BBC announced next year’s new coaching lineup, Jones wrote a Facebook post expressing his disappointment with the way in which he was axed from the The Voice.

“I was told yesterday, with no consultation or conversation of any kind, that I would not be returning,” Jones wrote. “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,” he added, before praising the show’s production staff “who worked tireless to make a great family viewing experience for the audience at home”.

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Responding to Jones’ public criticism of the corporation’s behaviour, Cohen has now told BBC News: “I’ve got huge respect for Tom and I’m truly sorry he’s upset, because I am a big fan of his. I think he’s a gentleman, I think he’s an extraordinary figure in music and you’ll have seen the huge respect that all of the artists have had for him on The Voice throughout.”

“These things happen over time, but I would never would want Tom to be upset and I am sorry that’s the case,” Cohen continued, before hinting that the BBC could find a new vehicle for the veteran singer.

“I’d like him to go out on the BBC this year in something else,” Cohen said. “I hope he’s back on the BBC very soon, I really do.”