The Voice UK's executive producer warns it might not be an instant ratings hit

The Voice UK coachesThe executive producer of BBC One's new talent contest The Voice UK has rubbished predictions that its first episode will get 10 million viewers.

Yesterday, bookies William Hill suggested the show's debut would attract the huge number, although they still expect ITV1 rival Britain's Got Talent to beat it.

But chief Moira Ross - who joined The Voice after overseeing the last two hit series of Strictly Come Dancing - is more realistic, warning that it may not instantly attract such high figures.

She told the Sunday Express: "Ratings like that take a long time to build up. No new shows debut with anything like that."

The first series of Britain's Got Talent launched with only 5 million viewers, but its audience grew, with 11 million tuning in for the final.

However, Ross is confident that The Voice's unique format will prove popular.

"The most obvious thing that will keep viewers hooked is the relationship between the coaches who have superstar status," she said. "If more than one of them turns around when they hear a voice they like they have to pitch themselves to the singer and the power shift changes.

"Suddenly you have Sir Tom Jones pulling out all the stops to get the contestant to go with him and he will use his honesty, warmth and stories about Elvis and Janis Joplin to clinch it.

"People will enjoy a new and exciting format and appreciate that the coaches are genuinely spending a long time working with the acts."

The Voice UK begins on Saturday at 7.00pm on BBC One, clashing with BGT - which starts at 8pm - for twenty minutes.

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