Paloma Faith says she ‘blacked out’ after ‘ill-timed joke’ on The Voice

Paloma Faith has recalled a tense exchange with a fellow, unnamed coach on The Voice UK in her new memoir, MILF, in which he allegedly made a sexist remark that was ultimately cut from the reality TV contest.

In the book, the British pop singer recounts her experiences of motherhood, fame and sexism after achieving fame with her debut album, Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful? in 2008.

One incident is said to have taken place while she was serving as a coach on the BBC’s talent show The Voice UK, when she was taking hormones as part of IVF treatment.

“It was essentially the hormones of 14 periods at once,” Faith, 42, wrote. “Towards the end of the two-week jab fest, my stomach was protruding, I was emotional and sensitive, and constantly feeling like everyone hated me.”

It was also the first time Faith was filming The Voice, which she called a “glossy show” where “there’s a lot of emphasis on looking good, as well as being witty and quick”.

During the filming for one episode, Faith pretended to fall asleep while one of the other coaches, whom she did not name, was speaking about a contestant.

“It was an ill-timed and misread joke, intended to be a bit of theatre, but he took offence and came back with a cutting quip, saying I had ‘probably got PMT’ and was ‘rude’,” she claimed.

“The PMT remark was obviously cut from the edit.”

Paloma Faith pretends to fall asleep on ‘The Voice UK’, 2016 (BBC)
Paloma Faith pretends to fall asleep on ‘The Voice UK’, 2016 (BBC)

Faith continued by saying that she probably could have handled this interaction “on a normal day” and would have “expressed my concern at the inbuilt sexism of him assuming all my negative actions could be attributed to my female condition, and dismissing me as just another woman with PMT”.

“But on this day, pumped full of hormones, I felt both shame at experiencing that in front of a studio audience, and like I couldn’t retaliate due to my desire to save face,” she said.

She wrote that fellow coach approached her and told her she looked as though she was going to have a panic attack, and that he’d cover for her so she could leave the stage.

“I ran off stage, to the toilets, and blacked out,” Faith wrote. “I don’t actually have a recollection of any of it until I came to on the floor with me then PA’s hands cupping me face... Apparently I was shouting something like, ‘My f***ing father’ over and over again... and sort of convulsing.”

Faith claimed she ‘blacked out’ after the incident (Getty)
Faith claimed she ‘blacked out’ after the incident (Getty)

Faith claimed that the production team organised a period of “conflict resolution” and the other coach before they continued filming.

“I was shaking, my nerves were shot, but the show needed to be made,” she wrote. “And that’s showbusiness!”

While Faith did not name the coach in question, she appeared to be referencing an altercation with solo artist and former Culture Club star Boy George.

The pair clashed during a 2016 episode, where Faith pretended to fall asleep while he was giving feedback to former Liberty X singer Kevin Simm.

As Faith let out a pretend snore, a visibly outraged Boy George remarked: “Excuse me, Palaver.”

“Is it finished, is it time for us to wake up?” Faith asked.

Boy George retorted: “That’s extremely rude. Very rude. Anyway, you’re amazing Kevin.”

Things grew even more tense as Simm – who went on to win that year’s season of The Voice UK –chose Faith as his coach over Boy George, who then told that he was “not happy”.

L-R: Ricky Wilson, Paloma Faith, Kevin Simm, Boy George and pose together at The Voice Live Final, after Simm won the 2016 season (Getty Images)
L-R: Ricky Wilson, Paloma Faith, Kevin Simm, Boy George and pose together at The Voice Live Final, after Simm won the 2016 season (Getty Images)

“I’ve upset George,” Faith whispered to coach Ricky Wilson of Kaiser Chiefs fame as she returned to her chair.

“Leave it five minutes,” Wilson advised.

The coaches were then turned back around in their chairs amid a palpably tense atmosphere, prompting laughter from the audience.

Responding to reports of the fall-out at the time, Boy George told Digital Spy that he and Faith had known each other “a long time” before appearing together on The Voice.

“First of all, nobody makes anyone cry, crying is a personal choice,” he said. “And Paloma's gorgeous, I worship and adore her. And we had a right laugh about it afterwards. And she sent me a note saying 'I will never do it again' and she did it again!”

He added: “We've been out to dinner so you know, we'll cope with each other, it's fine. Initially, it's all about finding out where people's boundaries are, what you can get away with, what you can say to them. Now we know where we stand.”

The Independent has contacted representatives for Boy George, the BBC and Talpa Studios, who were producing The Voice UK at the time, for comment.

MILF is out now via Ebury Spotlight.