Ricky Wilson on The Voice: Past winners didn’t see it through

“It’s not like you go straight to number one when you get a record deal”


There’s been a lot of talk about your appearance. Did you have
a makeover for the show?


Everyone’s saying, “You lost all that weight and had your teeth done for TV,” but I only got the job on The Voice UK two weeks before we started filming. If I’d done all that in a fortnight, people would want the number of my clinic!

You’ve said you trust the British public to pick the right winner. So why haven’t previous champions become stars?

They didn’t see it through. That sounds harsh, but it’s not like you go straight to number one when you get a record deal. That’s where the hard work starts.

What would you do differently 
if your act won?

I’d be marching them into my label, Universal, and I wouldn’t give up until something happened.

Why did you do the show?

I had a record coming out [a new album by his band Kaiser Chiefs] and I wanted people to hear it – it would be disingenuous to say otherwise. But I’ve ended up really enjoying it. I never thought I’d care so much about the contestants.

What do you 
wake up to?

The radio,
drowned out by 
my girlfriend’s [TV
producer Lesley
Williams] hairdryer.
 As soon as she leaves,
 I have the radio and Frasier on at the same time. People say men can’t multitask, but I can.

What are you hooked on?

Jonathan Creek. It’s in my top ten programmes of all time. I’d picket the BBC if it was axed.

You like murder mysteries?

I love them all. Magnum PIis another favourite. It’s on twice a day on ITV4. My guilty pleasure is watching things more than once. Lesley doesn’t understand. When I’ve got Midsomer Murderson she’ll say, “You’ve seen this before,” and I say, “That’s the point.”

Any shows you can’t stand?

Anything exploitative. I like warm TV like Goggleboxand Bake Off that make your heart leap a little.

As a credible musician, did you worry that doing a talent show was selling out?

Not really. I saw recently that Chris Martin is helping with the battle rounds of The Voice USA. Coldplay are one of the biggest groups in the world, but I still consider them an alternative band. It’s nice to make a bit of room on Saturday-night TV for alternative acts like myself.

Will you be back for series four?

It totally depends on whether the other coaches sign up. I’m happy to wait and see what they decide. [Despite speculation that Kylie won’t be returning to the show due to her touring commitments, The Voice UKis looking to accommodate them if the series is recommissioned.]

Is Kylie really as nice as everyone makes out?

I’d love to have a horror story about her, but I don’t. I first met her years ago when we were recording our first album, when nobody had heard of us. We were calling her Charlene and she was still nice to us.


MasterChef or Mary Berry? MasterChef

Graham Norton or Jonathan Ross? Really tough – it depends who the guests are. Probably Graham.

Newsnight or Question Time? Newsnight. I like Paxman. I just read his book Great Britain’s Great War.

Nick Grimshaw or Chris Evans? Don’t make me choose! I once watched a U2 gig on Chris’s shoulders, but I’ve hung out with Grimmy a lot. 

The Voice UK final is on Saturday at 7:00pm, BBC1