In an exclusive interview with TV Times magazine, Sir Tom Jones reveals why The Voice UK’s become a hit at last and his excitement about the start of the live shows…
How would you describe your coaching style?
“I try to pick songs that I think they can do and maybe stretch them a little bit. But I’ve got to explain to them that they can’t let the fact that it’s live throw them. Be excited about it. Feed off the energy! Because you’ve come this far, so you’re 90 per cent there. This is the advice that I’ve been giving to the singers. Know the songs inside out so that you don’t have to really think about it. If everything is fine and you’re in good voice, just let them flow.”
Do you think nerves can be a big problem?
“I did what is now the Royal Variety Show and I went on there and I was excited because the Queen was up in the box and it was live at the London Palladium on Sunday night. I was excited about it, and I saw these seasoned performers starting to get nervous backstage and I thought ‘Jesus Christ, maybe there’s more to this than meets the eye’. So I realised that it doesn’t really go away. You’re not the only nervous person and it’s good to be excited. Use it as a strength and don’t let it crumble you.”
Do you still feel like you’re learning?
“Yes. Especially with this show, because I’ve never done anything before like this!”
Why do you think that The Voice UK’s fortunes have turned around?
“I think it’s proven itself. The first and second series – sometimes it’s a learning process and it’s new for a viewing audience. I don’t know whether the show would be as a big as it is now if this was the first series. I think it’s trial and error and we’ve learned things as we’ve gone along – everybody has.”
How has this series been so far for you?
“It just feels better and more relaxed. And it feels like something I’ve been doing for a long time and that’s a really good feeling.”
What made you stay on the show?
“When they asked me to do it, I said ‘Is Will going to be there?’ and they said ‘Yes’ and I said ‘Well, I’m in’. He’s a big part of it because we get on so well together even though we’re different from one another.”
What do you think Kylie Minogue and Ricky Wilson have brought to the show?
“It’s fresh – to use a Will.i.am expression! Ricky’s the man I’d have a drink with in the pub because I like him and he’s a good guy. And Kylie – she’s very professional and she doesn’t put on a front when she walks on the screen. She’s like that – a very natural person.”
Who would you like to see win the show?
“One of mine!”