Tom Jones and will.i.am reveal why The Voice UK hasn’t found a big star yet – and how they plan to change that

The former Black Eyed Peas star thinks the global network of The Voice shows need to cross-promote their artists to ensure success

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will.i.am has said that he doesn’t think the BBC are to blame for a lack of big stars emerging from The Voice UK.

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None of the winners from the first five series of the talent show when it aired on the BBC went on to big things. Leanne Mitchell, Andrea Begley, Jermain Jackman, Stevie McCrorie and Kevin Simm all stalled in the charts after they won the show.

Speaking about why the BBC weren’t able to discover a breakout star with the show, coach will.i.am said: “I love the BBC. I don’t think it’s the BBC who hasn’t found the solution to the breakout star.

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Kevin Simm won the final series of The Voice UK on the BBC last year

This is the first series of the show on ITV, and will.i.am says he has a plan to make this year’s winner a success.

“I think it’s the problem in every territory. And it’s not because the BBC can’t play commercials or have to be strict on what they promote and how they promote. It’s the same [problem of not finding stars] with NBC, in France, in Brazil, in Australia – I was on the Australian one as well – Mexico, in the Philippines. It’s been hard for every Voice. But what The Voice has is a network. What I would want to see is a singer from the UK go on a Voice tour around the world.”

Meanwhile, returning coach Sir Tom Jones added: “I think it was because of the record company.

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“When you get a record contract you’re just getting your foot in the door. You have to get a hit song. You have to get people really involved to have a hit song and that’s not easy. I think that’s the reason why it hasn’t happened so far, but this year’s different because of the record company.”

The winner of the first series of The Voice UK on ITV will win a record contract with Polydor. Previous winners on the BBC didn’t receive a prize, only a platform for their talent.

“Every time we [The Black Eyed Peas] would have a new record we would sit down and come to Polydor and play the music for the team and they would help us pick the single,” will.i.am added.

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“That’s the care and attention that Polydor put into this scenario that this show has been missing, so I’m really excited that we have great partners that are going to help bring a star.”

Asked if he believed the show had found the next singing superstar in this series, Jones said: “We’re trying. We’re only trying. But I think the big difference this time is that the record company is hands on from the beginning, which I don’t think they were before.

“The record company really really want to find a star and create a hit record with the winner.”

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The Voice UK airs on Saturday 7 January at 8pm on ITV