The Sex Bomb hitmaker had expressed an interest in returning to the singing series for the fifth time, but only discovered he had been dropped as a judge the day before the new line-up was announced, with producers revealing Paloma Faith and Boy George would be joining will.i.am and Ricky Wilson on the panel.

Jones took to Facebook.com to blast BBC executives for their handling of his firing, writing that their "sub-standard behaviour... is very disappointing."

BBC director of television Danny Cohen has now apologised for hurting the singer's feelings, saying, "I've got huge respect for Tom and I'm truly sorry he's upset, really sorry. I'm a big fan of his, I think he's a gentleman and an extraordinary figure in music and you'll have seen the huge respect all the artists of The Voice have had for him throughout.

"These things happen over time but I never would have wanted Tom upset and I'm sorry that is the case. I'd like to have him back on the BBC this year in something else. Absolutely. I hope he's back on the BBC very soon, I really do."