Paul Gambaccini: The Voice UK is a “karaoke competition”

Radio 2 presenter expresses his disdain for the BBC's new talent show

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Veteran broadcaster Paul Gambaccini has dismissed the BBC’s new talent show, The Voice UK, as a “karaoke competition”.

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The new BBC1 show, which features Tom Jones, Jessie J, will.i.am and Danny O’Donoghue as its judges, begins this Saturday opposite ITV1’s Britain’s Got Talent.

Speaking to Radio Times, the Radio 2 presenter said: “The Voice is a karaoke competition, full stop.

“Although the American series was fantastic to rejuvenate the careers of two of the judges [Christina Aguilera and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine], it didn’t give us a viable artist.”

But Mark Linsey, the BBC’s controller of entertainment commissioning, said: “If you come across an internationally successful format that is a wonderful programme – like The Apprentice or The Voice – then I think we should be looking at those.

“I think what the BBC should be doing…is giving the audience the best programming that is available,” he added.

The Voice, which has been a profitable international export for Netherlands-based media tycoon John de Mol, has been successfully remade around the world.

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Read the full feature on The Voice UK, which includes profiles of the judges and a comparison between the show and Britain’s Got Talent, in this week’s issue of Radio Times.