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BBC set to axe The Voice and it could go to ITV

  • BBC is set to ditch talent show The Voice and it could instead go to ITV
  • Source: Corporation 'won't get into bidding war' with rival broadcaster
  • It follows reports the BBC is scrapping show over its £55million cost
  • See more on the BBC and its top shows and stars 

By Sam Tonkin For Mailonline

Published: 21:15 EST, 13 October 2015 | Updated: 04:42 EST, 14 October 2015

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The BBC is set to ditch talent show The Voice in the face of pressure to shake up its programming output - and rivals ITV could snap it up, it was claimed today.

A source within the Corporation said it 'would not get into a bidding war' with rival broadcasters over the programme, deemed the corporation's answer to their commercial rival's The X Factor. 

Senior BBC executives are said to have given up on screening a sixth season of the show, which pulls in eight million viewers, and a rival ITV offer could even be signed in days. 

Talent show: (From left) Ricky Wilson, Sir Tom Jones, Rita Ora and Will.i.am in The Voice, which could be ditched by the BBC in the face of pressure to shake up its programming output

Talent show: (From left) Ricky Wilson, Sir Tom Jones, Rita Ora and Will.i.am in The Voice, which could be ditched by the BBC in the face of pressure to shake up its programming output

Decisions: The Voice judges in seasons four and five are (from left) Ricky Wilson, Paloma Faith, Boy George and Will.i.am. Senior BBC executives are said to have given up on screening a sixth season of the show

Decisions: The Voice judges in seasons four and five are (from left) Ricky Wilson, Paloma Faith, Boy George and Will.i.am. Senior BBC executives are said to have given up on screening a sixth season of the show

A deal thought to be three years from 2017 is expected to be agreed soon, reported the Daily Mirror, while a BBC spokesman insisted it was still ‘in negotiations about its future’.

It was suggested that the BBC was not looking to renew the contract over its £55million cost.

The show has returned with an all-new panel featuring Paloma Faith, Will.i.am, Boy George and Ricky Wilson, with former coach Rita Ora having moved to The X Factor.

The BBC's director of television, Danny Cohen, recently spoke out following the departure of singer and coach Sir Tom Jones from The Voice.

Mr Cohen said he was ‘sorry’ that Sir Tom was ‘upset’ after the Welsh singer recently hit out at what he called ‘sub-standard behaviour’ from ‘the executives’ following his departure from the show.

A source within the BBC said it 'would not get into a bidding war' with rival broadcasters over the singing competition, deemed the corporation's answer to ITV's The X Factor

A source within the BBC said it 'would not get into a bidding war' with rival broadcasters over the singing competition, deemed the corporation's answer to ITV's The X Factor

He told fans he had only been informed 24 hours before the new coaches were announced that he would not be returning.

Mr Cohen said: ‘I've got huge respect for Tom and I'm truly sorry he's upset. I'm really sorry because I am a big fan of his. I think he's a gentleman and an extraordinary figure in music.’

He said he would definitely like to see Sir Tom back on the BBC ‘doing something else’.

The BBC has previously launched a defence of popular programming like The Voice and The Great British Bake Off, saying that licence fee payers expect the BBC to ‘deliver entertainment’.

In ‘an evidence-based response’ to Culture Secretary John Whittingdale's green paper on its future, the corporation hit back at whether it should have a more ‘precisely targeted’ mission in terms of its output.

The BBC source said: 'We love The Voice and want to keep it, but we are not getting into a bidding war for it'

The BBC source said: 'We love The Voice and want to keep it, but we are not getting into a bidding war for it'

Series five winner: Stevie McCrorie, singing in The Voice final in April. There have been suggestions the BBC was not looking to renew the show's contract over its £55million cost

Series five winner: Stevie McCrorie, singing in The Voice final in April. There have been suggestions the BBC was not looking to renew the show's contract over its £55million cost

Mr Whittingdale acknowledged the public demand for entertainment, but questions have been raised about whether the BBC will be able to justify paying premiums Saturday night programming such as The Voice.

This week, Rona Fairhead - chairman of the BBC Trust which governs the corporation - told the Lords' Communications Committee that the BBC should provide a ‘universal service’ that broadly serves the UK rather than striving to do ‘everything for everybody’.

Ms Fairhead said consultations with the public demonstrated the need for value for money, and that the licence fee model was deemed the best way to achieve this, rather than through corporate advertising and direct government funding.

She said previous input from the public resulted in a focus on ‘distinctive drama’ on BBC One, citing the television adaptation of Hilary Mantel's historical drama Wolf Hall as an example of high-quality output.

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