The Voice format tweaked to include more blind auditions in bid to improve ratings

 

There will be more blind auditions and fewer live shows in the new series of The Voice as BBC bosses attempt to improve its viewing figures.

The first series experienced a spectacular drop in viewers after its early stages - with the semi-final drawing just half the audience that the show had managed at its peak.

An 11-date tour, featuring performances by the BBC1 talent show's eight finalists, was also cancelled following poor ticket sales.

BBC1 controller Danny Cohen said there had not been "long chats" about the show format but there would be changes.

He said: "We're going to do less live shows, we're going to do more blind auditions, more battles and a bit less live, that's the fundamental difference."

The BBC has already announced that all four coaches, Sir Tom Jones, Will.i.am, Jessie J and The Script's Danny O'Donoghue, have signed up for the show when it comes back next year.

Price Tag singer Jessie J agreed a further series despite announcing in her autobiography Nice To Meet You that she would not return.

The show pulled in strong audiences during its early stages for the first series, particularly when the coaches were choosing contenders with the aid of their spinning seats.

Ratings fell as the series went on, but it is still said to be BBC1's biggest new entertainment show on record, with an average 9.2 million viewers across the series, including viewers on catch-up.

The programme was won by Leanne Mitchell, who had been coached by Sir Tom. She won a recording deal with music giant Universal.

PA

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