Black Eyed Peas star will.i.am has reportedly been warned by television bosses about sending text messages and tweets during a live broadcast of The Voice.

According to The Mirror, the singer was caught tweeting and texting via his BlackBerry on 16 occasions during the Saturday night broadcast of the programme.

Sources close to the show claim that bosses have reprimanded him, saying: "This isn't tolerated whatsoever. We need to show more respect to the people at home. It's like he can't be bothered. This isn't a mickey-mouse satellite channel, this is the BBC where high production values are key. He's making a mockery of the show."

Will.i.am took to his official Twitter account to defend his actions, insisting that live tweeting is a way for him to "connect" with viewers.

"If you saw me on my phone I wasn't being rude... TV, phone, laptop & tablet... if I don't tweet during live TV I'm not connecting to people watching in the new way," he said.

The 37-year-old's involvement in the programme has already caused controversy - he was recently criticised for the amount of time he spent with his acts.

The star allegedly saw his singers for just 30 minutes last week before jetting off to the US.

However, the musician insists he prefers to chat with and guide the performers rather than rehearse with them.