'The Voice U.K.' Coach Will.I.Am Defends On-Air Use of Mobile Phone

5:22 AM PST 04/30/2012 by Georg Szalai
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

After criticism from some viewers, the Black Eyed Peas star says he simply tweeted about the show.

LONDON - Black Eyed Peas star and The Voice U.K. coach Will.I.Am faced some criticism over the weekend after being seen on the BBC talent show's first live show on Saturday playing with his mobile phone.

Some fans on Twitter and in online forums wondered what he was doing and said he looked "bored." At least one viewer even called his behavior "incredibly rude."

The music star tried to set things straight on Twitter. "If you saw me on my phone I wasn't being rude...I was connecting to people watching," he said.

British tabloids said Monday though that BBC producers gave him an earful for using his phone. According to the Daily Star, Will.I.Am ignored the BBC show floor manager's request to turn off his phone before the live show. It said the show may consider stopping him from tweeting while on air.

Simon Cowell's Britain's Got Talent on ITV1 edged out The Voice U.K. for the first time in weeks in a closely followed Saturday evening ratings showdown of talent competitions.

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