Ricky Wilson thinks ITV will struggle to do better than the 2016 series of The Voice

“It’s going to be hard for whoever takes on the mantle to top,” insists the returning coach who says “everything’s changed” for 2016

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The Voice is about to start its final series on the BBC and returning coach Ricky Wilson says this year’s show is going to be a tough act to follow for new owners ITV.

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“I think it’s a massive blow out. In a good way. Especially for the BBC. Honestly, they’ve made a series that’s going to be hard for whoever takes on the mantle to top,” Wilson told RadioTimes.com, the spinning chair format moving to the commercial broadcaster in 2017. “It’s so good. I think we’ve made an ‘unremakeable’ programme.”

It’s the final time Wilson will appear as a coach on the show, confirming last year that his exit would follow this third stint, and he admitted he’s really enjoying his final hurrah.

“The first year I was absolutely terrified,” he said. “The second year I was obsessed with winning it [which he did]. Then the third year people were asking, ‘Why are you doing it again?’ I’ve got to admit, it’s because I love it.”

The Kaiser Chiefs front man admitted he’s more willing to sing the show’s praises now, too.

“I’ve found it very uncomfortable in the past saying things – being confident about saying this is good – because obviously I’m from the NME world and we’re supposed to just moan and go ‘Yeah, well, it’s alright, if they like it they like it…’ Now I’m like no, this is brilliant!”

Wilson enthused that “everything’s changed” thanks to the addition of new coaches Paloma Faith and Boy George, who arrive in place of Rita Ora and Sir Tom Jones. “I love them both,” he said. “It’s a lot louder. I’m watching a lot more,” he continued, newbie Boy George interjecting to insist there’s more “gobbiness” this time around.

So while this may be a final curtain for the show in its current form, you get the sense this is a team quite chuffed to have proven worthy enough to be, as BBC’s Mark Linsey described it, “poached”. They’re looking to go out with a bang rather than a whimper.

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The Voice returns Saturday 9th January on BBC1