BBC1's new singing contest Let It Shine launches this Saturday and Gary Barlow has been playing down the scheduling clash with ITV's The Voice UK
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 Gary 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 it clashes with The Voice, which has moved to ITV.
The 45-year-old said he wasn’t 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.”
Gary, 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 co-presented by former Great British Bake Off host Mel Giedroyc and Graham Norton.
Dannii said, of working with Gary: “We do disagree, I just sometimes called him Moodkiller, because he’d bring it right down, but you know, we have fun with it.”
Gary is keeping the plot of the musical a closely guarded secret, but revealed that he was looking to cast boys 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 premieres on BBC1 at 7pm on Saturday