ITV bosses thought having Tom Jones back for The Voice UK 2017 was a "must"

©ITV Plc

The BBC may have been happy to ditch Sir Tom Jones from The Voice UK, but ITV bosses apparently see him as an essential part of the show.

Sir Tom had been a coach on the show since it began in 2012, but last year the Beeb replaced him with Boy George.

The news caused outrage, particularly over allegations that Tom was only told shortly before the decision was announced publicly.

But the talent contest will relaunch on ITV in the New Year - and the 'It's Not Unusual' singer has revealed how the channel convinced him to return.

"They said to have me back was a must, that it was important," he told the Daily Mail's Weekend magazine.

"And now that I'm here it feels right. It's a new channel, but for us things are the same. It's good to be back."

Tom may not be holding a grudge against the BBC, however.

Asked whether he'd have gone back to the show at its original home, he said: "That's a good question. I honestly don't know, and I didn't know whether I was going to do it when ITV asked me."

It's just as well ITV did manage to get Tom on board, as fellow original Will.i.am claims he wouldn't have moved to the network without Tom by his side.

Two newbies complete the coaching panel for 2017: Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale, and Dreamgirls star Jennifer Hudson.

The Voice UK arrives on ITV on Saturday 6th January at 8.00pm.

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