Friday 13 December 2019

Gary Barlow unfazed by The Voice as he prepares to Let It Shine

Gary Barlow is looking to recreate the spirit of the early days of Take That
Gary Barlow is looking to recreate the spirit of the early days of Take That

Take That hitmaker Gary Barlow has said he is not concerned about a ratings war with The Voice when his new TV singing contest launches on Saturday.

Singer-songwriter Barlow is leading BBC1 series Let It Shine in the search for a group of performers to cast as a boyband in a musical inspired by his group's hits, but its scheduling clashes with The Voice, which has left the broadcaster for a new home on ITV.

The 45-year-old said he was not worried about which show would draw in the most viewers when they both begin this weekend.

He said: "That's someone else's job to think of that stuff, yeah, everyone's going to be talking about that, I'm aware of it, but I think The Voice will be the same as us.

"You put your head down and you concentrate on your TV show and making it as good as you can, and it's the same when you're making records, if you're looking left to see what Coldplay and One Direction are doing, you're not focusing on your own project.

"You've got to be head and shoulders in this - but I might be checking the day after."

Barlow, who has previously worked on The X Factor, will judge the contest alongside another X Factor former mentor Dannii Minogue as well as Spandau Ballet star Martin Kemp and a series of guest judges.

The guests include pop veteran Lulu and musical theatre star Amber Riley, and the programme will be presented by former Great British Bake Off host Mel Giedroyc with comedian Graham Norton.

Minogue said of working with Barlow: "We do disagree, I just sometimes called him Moodkiller, because he'd bring it right down, but you know, we have fun with it."

Barlow is keeping the plot of the musical a closely-guarded secret, but revealed that he was looking to cast lads who reminded him of the fresh-faced 90s version of himself, Robbie Williams, Mark Owen, Jason Orange and Howard Donald.

He said: "The one thing we were asking people to bring in the audition was kind of the 1992 version of us, and what I mean by that is it's not looking like us, or having the same names as us, but having the same energy.

"Everything's new, you're wide eyed, you're leaping about the stage, it's all fantastic and amazing - that's the version of us I wanted on stage."

:: Let It Shine begins on BBC1 at 7pm on Saturday.

PA Media

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