What to expect from The Voice 2016 premiere

The spinning chairs are back and from new coaches to excited hosts, here's what the opening night brings...

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What time is it on?

The Voice launches at 7:30pm on BBC1 this Saturday the 9th January. 

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Who are the hosts?

Emma Willis and Marvin Humes return to front the show. The pair are excited about the new series with Willis telling us: “I think it’s become the perfect mix now of genuine serious talent, fun and Saturday night entertainment.” 

“It’s funnier, that’s definitely one factor this year,” Humes added. 


Who are the coaches?

Drama surrounded the changes to those on the spinning chairs for this year’s series. Sir Tom Jones openly described the BBC as “sub-standard” after he was told his contract wouldn’t be renewed. 

“In good faith, as part of the team, I’d put the time in my schedule to be involved in Series 5, as I’ve done so for the last 4 years,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “I’ve supported the show and the BBC since the beginning. I was told yesterday, with no consultation or conversation of any kind, that I would not be returning.”

A statement on BBC Newsbeat read: “Tom hasn’t been axed or fired from The Voice. He was out of contract once series four ended in April and that contract has not been renewed.” 

An announcement followed that the fifth series line-up would see Ricky Wilson and will.i.am return alongside new faces Paloma Faith and Boy George

“Everything’s changed, it’s a lot louder,” Wilson told RadioTimes.com. Boy George joked the new pair bring extra “gobbiness”. 

“George and Paloma have certainly made a difference,” Willis said. “They have such great personalities and so much charisma. Will seems to kind of bounce off them brilliantly. Ricky has that relationship with Paloma and has done for years and he gets on well with George as well, I like watching them. I could watch more of them. I want more of them in the show.”


What to expect

It’s the spinning chairs first. The four coaches sit with their back to each singer and turn if they want to have them in their team. If more than one coach turns, the singer themselves decide which coach they want. This leads to a whole lot of pitching, with the coaches name-dropping as many famous people as they can or putting forward the various reasons they think they’re better than their fellow coaches (which we know eventually leads to a full scale row between the new coaches that leaves Paloma in tears).

There’s some brilliant one-liners. Boy George manages to get “Pitch Bitch” past the BBC and Paloma tells one singer she wants to make “musical babies” with her. will.i.am still wanders off into long twisty speeches, including continuously calling one of his singers the wrong name even though he’s doing a whole skit about his name. Wilson is as charming as ever, admitting to us that he’s really enjoying this final hurrah. 

“The first year I was absolutely terrified. The second year I was obsessed with winning it. Then the third year now people were asking, why are you doing it again? I’ve got to admit, it’s because I love it.”


It’s the final series on BBC

This is the final time The Voice UK will air on BBC, moving in 2017 to ITV. 

BBC’s acting director of television, Mark Linsey confirmed the show was leaving the Beeb last year

“We always said we wouldn’t get into a bidding war or pay inflated prices to keep the show,” he said.  “And it’s testament to how the BBC has built the programme up – and established it into a mainstay of the Saturday night schedule – that another broadcaster has poached it.”

The three-year ITV deal will include an ITV2 spin-off show for The Voice, and also a two-series commitment to make The Voice Kids.  

It’s not known for sure how The Voice will fit in alongside ITV’s other shiny-floor shows, but it looks as though it will co-exist with the current set of shows

Director of Television at ITV, Peter Fincham said: “ITV is the natural home of big entertainment so we are thrilled that The Voice and The Voice Kids are both joining our family alongside brilliant shows like The X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent, Saturday Night Takeaway and I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!”

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Whether the coaching line-up will completely change remains to be seen. Wilson has said he won’t return.