Sir Tom Jones has come in for criticism after making comments about the weight of a former winner of The Voice.

The Welsh singer even faced calls to be sacked from the talent show after suggesting Leanne Mitchell gained weight because she "didn't have the drive."

His comments have irked a number of eating disorder charities, one that called for Sir Tom to be fired before the first episode of the new series had been aired.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror, the 76-year-old had said: "When she first came on, I thought about her trimming down a bit.

"Rather than take the opportunity of winning The Voice and having a chance of getting a record deal, which she did, she put on more weight. She didn't have the drive."

Leanne Mitchell won the series in 2012 Credit: PA

After his interview with the newspaper, the "Sex Bomb" singer faced a backlash from support group Girls Out Loud.

Jane Kenyon, from the group, said Sir Tom would have been sacked if it was up to her.

She added: "It isn't the behaviour of someone we want to mentor up and coming talent."

Sir Tom has only just returned to the show after it moved to ITV from the BBC.

He coached Mitchell to success in the show's first series in 2012.

A source from The Voice said: "Tom was making a point about grasping an opportunity and genuinely meant no offence."

The Voice will make its debut on ITV on Saturday night at 8pm.