He returns to our TV screens and his spinning red chair on The Voice UK this weekend but Sir Tom Jones is still fuming about the decision to ditch him ahead of the last series and says he has no idea who is to blame.
“I was p****d off. I never got to the bottom of who made the decision,” Jones says in this week’s Radio Times magazine. “It was between the production company Wall to Wall and the BBC, and I still don’t know why.”
The thing that seems to have proven most insulting for the Welsh singer was the late notice he was given; Jones only found out he’d been axed from the series 24 hours before an announcement was made to journalists.
“When we got the call, we said, ‘When did you make this decision?’. ‘Yesterday, and we’re going to give it to the press tomorrow.’ Oh, that’s nice!”
Calling the decision a “kick in the b******s”, Jones said: “When I used to work in factories or on a building site, you’d get a week’s notice at least! They don’t call you up the day before and say, ‘Sorry, don’t come in tomorrow.’ You don’t male a decision like that overnight. The decision was made earlier but they just didn’t let me know.”
Legions of fans flocked to The Voice UK’s blog to complain about the show’s treatment of the singer, and 83% of voters surveyed by RadioTimes.com said it was a mistake to replace him.
Needless to say, Jones couldn’t help but laugh when the BBC1 show began to suffer in the ratings: “They were losing viewers and I thought, ‘Well that’s OK!’ He he he! I think they lost two million viewers.”
But he’s happy to be back in his spinning red chair on ITV, not least because he knows how much it would have meant to his late wife, Linda, who died from cancer in 2016.
“When my wife heard I wasn’t doing it she said, ‘So you don’t want to do The Voice any more?’ I said, ‘It’s not my decision’, she said ‘you must be joking!’ God bless her she passed away before I was asked to come back. She would like the fact that I’m doing the show now.”
The Voice UK airs on ITV on Saturday January 7th at 8pm