The Voice UK will return in 2016 with not one, but two new coaches: Paloma Faith and Boy George.
They settle into the spinning chairs vacated by Rita Ora, who has left to serve as judge on The X Factor, and Tom Jones, despite him saying last month he was looking forward to coming back.
Will.I.Am and Ricky Wilson will remain as coaches when the BBC1 talent show returns in January next year.
Boy George is the surprise replacement for Tom Jones, who has been a coach since the series made its debut in 2012. Only last month the Welsh singer was quoted as saying how much he would “love to be back if they want me” on the show.
Controller of BBC1 Charlotte Moore thanked Tom Jones for his commitment to the show, but said that Boy George would bring “unpredictability” to the line-up.
“Boy George and Paloma will bring a wealth of musical talent, expertise and unpredictability to our new coaching line-up,” 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.”
Boy George said he had been “a huge fan of the show” and was excited to be joining the line-up: “I’m a huge fan of the show and have watched and engaged with it from series one,” he said. “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!”
Paloma Faith was hotly tipped to join the show when it became clear that Rita Ora wouldn’t be coming back to The Voice; she was a guest mentor on the show in 2012, and was offered the role when Jessie J left in 2013.
She was already touting her talent-spotting credentials when she was revealed as the new coach: “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,” she said. “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.”
Will.I.Am and Ricky Wilson are back, as are presenters Emma Willis and Marvin Humes.