Will.i.am commits to new series of The Voice
Published 04/07/2016 | 00:06
Singer Will.i.am has confirmed he will return as a coach on The Voice when the show moves to its new home on ITV.
The Black Eyed Peas star, who has been on the series since its UK debut in 2012, will also serve as a coach on spin-off The Voice Kids when it starts in 2017.
He is the first coach to be confirmed as making the move from BBC to ITV.
Will.i.am said: "I'm delighted to be continuing The Voice UK on ITV and being a voice of direction and guidance for the usual suspects, and I'm thrilled to add The Voice Kids to the mix ... I know The Voice switched to ITV, but I'm not going to Brexit The Voice UK. I'm happy to make ITV my home now. I love the UK."
It is not yet known if he will be joined by Ricky Wilson, Paloma Faith and Boy George, who made up the last panel on the BBC.
Emma Willis has already been confirmed as the host of the talent show when the new series debuts early next year. She will also appear on the junior version of the show.
The 40-year-old has been at the helm of the popular talent series, formerly broadcast on BBC One, since 2014.
She said: "Hosting The Voice Kids will be like being at my house on a Saturday night; lots of kids singing, with me trying to keep some kind of order. Thankfully, the musical genius that is Will.i.am is there to bring some expertise to the table. It's going to be pretty awesome."
The children's show will be open to young solo singers between the ages of seven and 14.
Siobhan Greene, head of entertainment at ITV network, said: "We are thrilled to bits that Will.i.am's signed up to ITV for The Voice UK and The Voice Kids.
"He's such an important part of the DNA of the show and that was one of the many reasons we had to have him in his chair. Will's eye for talent, and unique and creative flair for mentoring means we can't wait to see what happens next."
The winner of the 2017 series will be given a record contract with Polydor Records, home to global music stars such as Take That and Ellie Goulding.