'The Voice': Will Cheryl Cole Be a Judge on the U.K. Version?
BBC wins rights to the format, which BBC1 boss Danny Cohen pledges will be on air next year.
LONDON - The BBC has won the battle to bring talent search show The Voice to BBC1 after a high stakes battle with ITV. The move could see Cheryl Cole back on British screens next year.
The Girls Aloud singer, who was unceremoniously dumped from X-Factor U.S. earlier this month, also lost out on her chance to rejoin the British version of the show - which airs on ITV1 - after refusing to take calls from ITV execs.
There is no word about Cole signing to the BBC1 Saturday night show -- yet. But as the most popular talent show judge in the U.K. after Simon Cowell, Cole will be the viewers' choice to front the BBC show, and if wooed to the BBC could secure the show's success for the BBC.
A rep for Cole denies that "any discussions with [the show's production company] Talpa have taken place."
BBC1 boss Danny Cohen said he has signed a deal with the show's creator, John de Mol, whose production company Talpa Media is behind the NBC show starring Christine Aguilera, Cee Lo Green and Adam Levine. The U.K. show will be co-produced by Talpa and Warner Bros-owned British indie Shed Media.
"It's a big, exciting and warm-hearted series and will be a fantastic Saturday night event on BBC1," said Cohen.
The Voice initially began life as The Voice of Holland and was the most watched talent competition in the history of Dutch TV.
Creator John de Mol said it represented "a new generation" in its genre. "I am so glad it has been picked up by the BBC, who really share my passion and belief in the show," he added.