'The Voice U.K.' to Leave BBC After Upcoming Fifth Season

Will.I.Am, Rita Ora, Ricky Wilson and Sir Tom Jones
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Will.I.Am, Rita Ora, Ricky Wilson and Sir Tom Jones attend the launch of "The Voice UK" Series 4 at The Mondrian Hotel on Jan. 5, 2015 in London, England. 

The singing competition is expected to move to ITV, which now owns show producer Talpa.

The BBC said Saturday, Nov. 7, that its upcoming fifth season of singing competition The Voice U.K. would be the last airing on the U.K. public broadcaster.

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Mark Linsey, acting director of BBC Television, said: "The BBC is incredibly proud of The Voice, but the fifth [season], which starts in January will be our last. We always said we wouldn’t get into a bidding war or pay inflated prices to keep the show, and it’s testament to how the BBC has built the program up -- and established it into a mainstay of the Saturday night schedule -- that another broadcaster has poached it."

He didn't say which other network would air the show in Britain in the future, but commercial broadcaster ITV previously acquired the show's producer Talpa and was considered the favorite to take over the music competition.

ITV declined to comment on Saturday. The broadcaster, which already airs The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent, previously said it would be interested in the show if it became available. One industry source said ITV has not finalized a deal to announce.

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The BBC reported that it previously made a "final" bid to keep the show for two more years. Boy George and Paloma Faith will in the fifth season join and Ricky Wilson as coaches on the British version of the show.

The government in launching a review of the BBC's mandate earlier this year mentioned The Voice as an acquired format that may not make sense for the public broadcaster to continue doing in the future.

"This was a singing talent show developed overseas, bought by the BBC at a reported cost of around £20 million and similar to ITV’s X Factor," it said. "This is in contrast to Strictly Come Dancing, which was developed by the BBC in-house and then sold abroad."

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