Sunday 17 December 2017

Gareth Malone promises 'proper feedback' on new singing show Pitch Battle

The new Saturday night BBC show will see six singing groups of various sizes, styles and backgrounds battle it out in a series of challenges.

By Kerri-Ann Roper

Gareth Malone has said his new singing programme will differ from The X Factor and other talent shows because he will offer “proper feedback”.

The choirmaster said Pitch Battle will do for music what Strictly Come Dancing has done for dance, offering criticism using technical terms.

The BBC show will see six singing groups of various sizes, styles and backgrounds battle it out in a series of challenges.


He will judge the groups alongside Milkshake singer Kelis, who once sang in a church choir in Harlem, and every week the duo will be joined by a different guest judge, including Chaka Khan and Seal.

The TV star told Radio Times the show will vary from others that have gone before because it is “just about musical performance. It’s not a popularity contest. We don’t have our own acts”.

He added: “I will be giving proper feedback, using technical terms, talking about dynamics and choral support.

“What Strictly does for dance, we will do for music and I can hand-on-heart say that that hasn’t happened on a Saturday night music entertainment show before.”

There will also be an absence of details about the lives of the contestants, including heart-wrenching stories about personal struggles.

Instead, he sees it as a serious competition and is preparing himself for the criticism that will ensue.


He said: “I’m fine being a judge. That’s exactly what you are when you’re a choirmaster. You’re listening and judging the sound all the time.

“There’s always someone telling me that competitiveness is anti-singing. Nonsense. Performing is scary and exciting. You produce your best work on the stage.

“Yes, this is a competition, but we’re also making something to entertain. It’s a jolly, upbeat show in what is really quite a bleak time.”

The full interview is in Radio Times, which is on sale today.

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