Comic Rob Beckett and former Spice Girl Geri Horner host the brand-new talent show where singers must perform for a panel of 100 judges! Rob and Geri give us the lowdown...

Geri Horner and Rob Beckett on bringing Britain together for a singsong in their new talent show…

Talent shows have become somewhat formulaic over the years, usually involving a singer coming on to nervously audition for a panel of three or four expert judges. Not any more…

This Saturday, BBC1 launches a new singing contest with a twist. All Together Now sees a range of talented singers take to the stage to sing for The 100 – a unique panel of music experts and performers from across the UK.

If any of The 100 like what they hear, they can stand up and join in. The greater the number that stand up and sing along, the higher the contestant’s score. There are five heats in all, with two singers from each heat winning a place in the show’s Grand Final at the end of the series, where they’ll get the chance to win a £50,000 cash prize.

Comedian Rob Beckett hosts alongside former Spice Girl Geri Horner – who sits among The 100 ready to sing along if she likes what she hears.

TV Times was invited to a recording of the show to watch the hopefuls – and The 100 – in action. The atmosphere in the studio was electric! As members of The 100 got on their feet, we really wanted to be up there with them singing along.

Afterwards, we caught up with Geri, 45, and Rob, 32, to find out more…

How does All Together Now compare to other talent shows?

Geri: “I think there’s room for every talent show out there. Nobody’s trying to reinvent the wheel here but I think what’s so unique about this show and why I decided to join is because it’s about people connecting. This is more than just a talent show, it’s about all of Great Britain coming together through music.”
Rob: “This is a happy, positive show and is never mean to contestants. It’s not career-defining – there’s no record deal – but people can come on and show off their talent for the chance of winning a nice cash prize at the end.”

Geri, how much do you enjoy sitting up there among The 100?

Geri: “I absolutely love it. They’re all different personalities from all different walks of life. I think this show highlights who we are as a nation right now for so many reasons. Life can get quite heavy and dark sometimes and we need to show the world that we can all get along. We’ve got drag queens, pearly queens, old, young, black and white in The 100; everyone belongs together and music is something we can all connect with.”
Rob: “When you’re in the studio watching, it’s so much fun. Just seeing that many people all joining in and singing together, their enthusiasm is infectious.”

Geri with The 100

As captain of The 100, Geri gets to stand up and join in if she likes a particular singer

There’s a lot of pressure on the individual singers to try and gain the support of The 100 ‘judges’…

Rob: “Rather than just two or three people judging it’s a hundred, so the power is spread. It’s literally democracy in action; whatever The 100 decides, that’s the singer who wins or loses.”
Geri: “I love it that these singers are just giving it a go. We had one girl who didn’t get many of The 100 to join in singing with her and it was quite upsetting – but she can walk away knowing she had the courage to sing in front of 100 people.”
Rob: “Also, The 100 are not allowed to join in for the first part of the song…”
Geri: “That’s right. So the performer might be thinking: ‘Oh, my God, they don’t like me’ and it could ruin their performance. To hold your nerve on this show is hard.”

All Together Now trio

Will this flamboyant trio be able to impress Geri and the rest of The 100?

Geri, what has made you want to stand up and join in with a singer?

Geri: “I think a performance has either got to warm your heart or move your feet, it’s not always about the best vocal. One contestant actually made me cry; they sang a song with their heart and it really touched me. Sometimes I’ve been 50/50 for a singer but I’ve stood up because I can feel the energy in the room. But this show has also challenged me to be true to myself so, other times I’ve thought: ‘I’m really not feeling this’, so I haven’t joined in.”

Rob, there’s a lot of running around for you, as you chat to various members of The 100 to find out why they chose to join in – or not – with a particular singer…

Rob: “There is and it certainly saves me having to go to the gym! I was going to get a FitBit but I didn’t a want to do all that running around and find that I’d notched up fewer steps than if I’d just walked to the shops! So I’ve not worn it yet – but I am doing a lot of running about and it’s good fun.”

Rob with The 100

Seems that Rob gets to keep fit as he runs around getting feedback from The 100

How are you two getting along?

Rob: “We hate each other! Just kidding, we get on really well. We’re both relaxed, we both like a laugh and neither of us take ourselves that seriously!”
Geri: “Rob’s got a very big heart and a very humble attitude, which is refreshing. And I’ve learned a lot from his comedic timing – I haven’t got any! At the end of each show, I’m dragging him up on stage to dance. We’re like the drunk couple at a wedding!”

Rob and Geri singing

Rob and Geri having their own little sing-song during filming

Geri, would you have auditioned for a show like this? And what advice would you give the singers taking part?

Geri: “I honestly don’t know if I would. These days, I’d be absolutely terrified. I might seem fearless but, in reality, I’m always scared. The difference is, I’m just brave; if it’s something big I’ll say a little prayer and do it anyway. Once, I was about to do a solo show in front of 120,000 people and I was literally crying with nerves before I went on. But there are three things I live by: accept the nerves, be of service – it’s my job to make you have a good time – and the other thing I always do is visualise everybody in their pants!”

Geri, does singing with The 100 bring back fond memories of being with The Spice Girls?

Geri: “I really do enjoy singing with other people. When I’m with The 100, it’s like having my own sound system, especially when they all start harmonising. I love the feeling of singing with other people, it’s a joyful experience.”

All Together Now starts on Saturday January 27 at 7.15pm on BBC1.