Producers on BBC1’s talent show The Voice have been told they need to attract at least 3m more viewers to the show for it to be considered a success.

According to reports in the Mail On Sunday, there has been concern over the viewing figures for the show which have dropped by almost half in recent weeks despite getting off to a strong start.

During the blind auditions stage the show was pulling in around 10m viewers – and beat rival Britain’s Got Talent in the ratings for three weeks in a row – but by last weekend the audience was averaging just 5.6m.

As a result BBC execs have reportedly told production company Wall To Wall that they need at least eight million viewers to justify the £22m they spent on buying the format.

“There have been frantic calls and emails,” a source told the paper. “The BBC wanted a far edgier show.”

However Danny Cohen, the controller of BBC1, praised the talent show saying he was “thrilled” with it.

Saturday’s show saw Teams Jessie J and Danny O’Donoghue make their bid to win a place in next weekend’s semi-final.

However the show was punctuated by mishaps, including Jessie’s microphone cutting out on live TV as she attempted to perform with her team, and teenager Becky Hill seen to be swearing after she forgot the words to her song.

Four more acts will leave the show on Sunday night.