BBC apologises to Tom Jones for replacing him with Boy George on The Voice

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The BBC has issued an apology to Sir Tom Jones – after he was axed as a coach on talent show The Voice in favour of Boy George.

It was revealed earlier this month that after four years on the show, Sir Tom Jones had been axed in favour of the Culture Club singer, with Paloma Faith also joining to replace departing judge Rita Ora.

BBC One Controller Charlotte Moore said the move would “shake things up” on the series, before adding: “[I] would like to personally thank Sir Tom Jones for his dedication and commitment to the last four series.”

However, Sir Tom Jones expressed hurt after it was revealed the BBC had only informed him that he would be dropped from the series just days before it was announced.

Speaking at Edinburgh TV Festival, the BBC’s Television Director Danny Cohen said that he was “truly sorry” for the way that the legendary singer was treated.

He said: “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.”

He added: “I’d like to have him back on the BBC this year, in something else. Absolutely. I hope he’s back on the BBC very soon, I really do.”

Speaking about his role, Boy George said: “I’m thrilled and excited to be a coach 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. What a wonderful opportunity to share my experiences and help someone move forward with their musical career. I can’t wait to sit in that chair!”