Martin Kemp and Glee’s Amber Riley join Dannii Minogue in Gary Barlow’s new talent contest Let It Shine

The new format will see the judges put together a band to star in a new Take That musical

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ITV may have swiped singing competition The Voice from the BBC last year, but now the Beeb has taken a little X Factor glamour in return – because former judge Dannii Minogue is joining Gary Barlow for new BBC talent series Let It Shine, along with Spandau Ballet’s Martin Kemp and Glee’s Amber Riley.

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The 44-year-old Australian singer will be taking a mentor role alongside Barlow, Kemp and Riley, with the judges spending eight weeks in a search for talented individuals to form a band, who will eventually join the cast of a brand new stage show featuring the music of Barlow’s band Take That.

“Dannii, Martin and Amber all bring so much to this panel with the breadth of experience in music, acting, stage and TV,” Barlow said in a release. “I can’t wait to get started – it’s going to be epic!”

“I’m so excited to be returning to the UK and joining the judging panel of Let It Shine,” Minogue said.

“To be a performer, you must have a burning desire to perform, then you train at all the skills you need to shine. This show gives everyone that chance. I can’t wait.”

“It’s a chance to find not just the most talented, but also those who have that something extra special called charisma, that literally will ‘shine’ from the stage,” Kemp added.

“I won’t just be judging, but trying to give a constructive thought that will help them towards winning that incredible final prize!”

Interestingly Riley, who rose to fame playing talented singer Mercedes Jones in US comedy-drama Glee, seems to be joining the series specifically to offer expertise during stage one of the competition, rather than as a permanent member of the judging panel alongside Barlow, Minogue and Kemp.

However, details of stages two and three are still yet to be announced, so it could be that her special role (offering her “expert opinion to the budding stars”, according to the BBC) will continue further into the competition.

“I am so excited to see what the UK talent has to offer and share some of my experience on the stage to help them reach their full potential,” Riley said. 

“I’m not just looking for the biggest voices or the biggest personalities, but those who have what it takes to make it on TV and on stage.” 

Let it Shine will be presented by Graham Norton and Mel Giedroyc, and unlike The Voice (which was adapted from an independent production company) is an in-house BBC production.

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Let It Shine will air on Saturday nights on BBC1 in the new year