It helps if you have friends in high places, but tonight Tim Arnold proved that it’s also a plus if you have talent.
The 39-year-old singer, boyfriend of EastEnders’ star Jessie Wallace and the man who recruited Benedict Cumberbatch to a campaign to “Save Soho” from gentrification, was waved through The Voice’s latest round of blind auditions. His soulful rendition of Kate Bush’s anthem Running Up That Hill was praised by the judges, with Ricky Wilson turning for him.
Tim, who performs his own material under the name The Soho Hobo, works as a singer-songwriter and is an active campaigner for live music.
In December 2014 he recruited celebrities including Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Fry and Paul O’Grady to sign an open letter to London mayor Boris Johnson, urging him to keep live music venues open in Soho and to stop the area becoming “gentrified”.
Here are Cumberbatch and Fry urging people to “save Soho” as part of the campaign:
And here is Tim with Cumberbatch himself:
Arnold’s mother is actress Polly Perkins who played Rose Cotton on EastEnders, the soap which employs his actress girlfriend Jessie Wallace to be Kat Slater.
However, Arnold didn’t reveal his celebrity connections on tonight’s show. He also didn’t tell Wallace about his decision to audition for the The Voice – which explains why she wasn’t there to watch him sing tonight.
“He wanted to do this on his own so he didn’t bring Jessie or his good friend June Brown [EastEnders’ Dot Cotton] to the show with him,” a BBC source tells RadioTimes.com.
Elsewhere on the show it was a bad night for Ross Harris, the cousin of One Direction’s Liam Payne. His drumming work and rendition of Usher’s Good Kisser failed to impress judges Rita Ora, Sir Tom Jones, Ricky Wilson and Will.i.am.
Like Arnold, he didn’t reveal his celebrity connection tonight.
But it was a good evening for Sir Tom Jones who bagged four acts: 24-year-old Kim Alvord from Manchester, 16-year-old Rosa Iamele, 52-year-old Irishwoman Sharon Murphy, and compatriot Cai Williams from Blaenavon in south Wales.
Fellow coach Rita Ora secured three acts: Liverpudlians The Mac Brothers, Glaswegian Morven Brown and Sunderland lass Olivia Lawson.
Will.i.am got turned for just one person: Essex singer Hollie Barrie.
The Voice is on BBC1 on Saturday nights