Conservative MP Philip Davies has hit out at The Voice UK and the BBC, describing the show as “a very expensive advert” for music label Universal.
The rights to the Saturday night music series were purchased by the BBC for a large investment, rumoured to be over £20 million. The winner of the talent search lands a deal with Universal and three of the show’s star coaches are also signed to the record company.
Davies, who is MP for Shipley, West Yorkshire, told the Daily Star: “The BBC has paid a fortune for The Voice. This now looks to be a very expensive advert for the record company, which not only gets a heavily-promoted winner but also a boost for its existing artists.
“The BBC appears to be using this format as a spoiler to sabotage ITV’s success with Britain’s Got Talent. I don’t think this is what the BBC should be doing.”
Danny O’Donoghue, who is one of the coaches, is signed to Universal’s rivals Sony and has experienced the biggest sales boom since the show launched two weeks ago.
will.i.am, Sir Tom Jones and Jessie J are all signed to various branches of Universal.
In a statement, the BBC said: “In casting the coaches we spoke to the biggest stars in the music industry regardless of the labels they were attached to. Two of three major labels are represented on the panel and throughout the series other labels will continue to be represented.”
The Voice UK airs on Saturdays at 7pm on BBC One.