A British version of hit talent show The Voice will be screened on BBC1 from next year, the corporation has confirmed.
Currently topping ratings in the USA, The Voice is the brainchild of John de Mol, co-creator of reality godfather Big Brother. Bearing similarities to The X Factor and Pop Idol, the singing show’s twist is that the judges are unable to see the contestants in the early rounds of the programme and therefore rate them on their vocal ability alone.
Danny Cohen, who reached the agreement with de Mol yesterday, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that The Voice will be coming to the BBC. It’s a big, exciting and warm-hearted series and will be a fantastic Saturday night event on BBC1.”
The Dutch producer, who is understood to have also had interest from ITV in the UK rights to the format, said that he was keen to work with Cohen on the project because he “really shares my passion and belief in the show”.
Based on the Voice of Holland, the American version of the show is judged by Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. First aired on NBC in April 2011, the format has proven to be a ratings winner stateside, regularly attracting more than 12 million viewers.
The BBC will be hoping for similar success with the show, the corporation’s first out-and-out attempt to take on ITV’s X Factor ratings behemoth.
Currently no judges have been announced for the programme, but the BBC’s wish list for the show is thought to include both Robbie Williams and Cheryl Cole.