Tom Jones told to create 'friction'

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 4 March 2017
Sir Tom Jones

Sir Tom Jones

Sir Tom Jones claims producers used to "suggest" things the 'Voice' coaches should say in order to create "friction" between them when the show was on the BBC

Sir Tom Jones claims he was told to create "friction" with his fellow coaches when 'The Voice' was on the BBC.

The 76-year-old singer - who returned to the programme this year when it moved to ITV - was encouraged to be "competitive" with his fellow stars on the panel, which over the years have included will.i.am, Ricky Wilson, Jessie J, Kylie Minogue, Rita Ora, and Danny O'Donoghue, and regrets listening to advice on what he ought to say to the contestants and other judges.

Asked whether the show feels different now, he said: "It feels more relaxed.

"With the BBC when I was doing that one, they wanted friction between the coaches. They wanted that competitive thing.

"So I said a couple of things that they suggested I say and when I looked at it on TV I thought 'You shouldn't have said that. It wasn't like that.' "

By contrast, the 'It's Not Unusual' hitmaker claims ITV have encouraged this year's coaches, Tom, will, Gavin Rossdale and Jennifer Hudson to be "more friendly".

He added to RadioTimes.com: "They want the coaches to bond. Which I think is a great idea... this is real - it feels more real. That's what it is."

The legendary entertainer also criticised BBC producers for using celebrity mentors to help the coaches choose their finalists.

He said: "I think it was just to add to the show.

"To have another celebrity come on for the show. But all in all, I think if you need somebody to come on and give you advice on what I should be telling - you should know that yourself.

"You don't need somebody else to confirm it, you ought to know it yourself. So I think it was just for the benefit of the show."

A BBC spokesperson insisted the show was "never scripted" when they broadcast it.

The representative said: "During its time on the BBC, coaches on 'The Voice' were never scripted.

"The tone of the programme was supportive and celebratory and any rivalry displayed by the coaches was always friendly both on and off camera."

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