The Voice UK could be axed by the BBC as part of a new government review of the broadcaster’s output.
The talent series is said to be high on the Conservatives’ hit list as they seek to make changes to the corporation, including an overhaul of the licence fee and an examination of it’s political impartiality.
Culture Secretary John Whittingdale will oversee a review of the BBC prior to its current royal charter coming to an end at the end of 2016. A green paper is due to be published this Thursday (16th July), with the government presenting questions about the BBC’s role for parliament to debate.
According to The Sunday Times, Whittingdale’s main issue with the BBC is that it spends too much of its money on producing programmes already provided by other broadcasters – with The Voice UK being singled out as the clearest example. The show could be scrapped as the government wants the BBC to focus on more public service programming. It also wants to consider the possibility of scrapping the licence fee entirely and replacing it with a subscription service or household tax.
A BBC source told Digital Spy: “Let’s see what the green paper says, but the BBC doesn’t nakedly chase viewers, but we do seek to make the good popular, and the popular good. Research has shown that an element of competition drives up quality across the industry. The voice of the public will be key and they will have their own view about the merits of BBC programmes like Strictly and Sherlock.”
They continued: “In a world where broadcasting is increasingly global, it is important for Britain that we have a strong, vibrant and successful creative sector and the BBC has been a key driver of delivering that… A key test for the green paper is whether it enhances or diminishes that status. The BBC is a British global success story. If we get this wrong, in 10 years’ time it will no longer be.”
The Voice UK has become a solid performer in the ratings for BBC One, despite a turbulent start for the series back in 2012. The show has held auditions in Southampton for the upcoming series, which is set to air sometime next year.