The Voice Kids: will.i.am talks TV loves and telly hates

The Voice Kids coach reveals his love of cartoons and fantasy – and low-crotch pants

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ITV launch new talent series The Voice Kids this weekend, with will.i.am once again signing up as coach/chair spinner extraordinaire. 

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What are you watching?

The cartoon Star Wars Rebels and Stranger Things – it’s the best, Winona Ryder is dope, I like her a lot. I watch Game of Thrones, of course, American Dad, Family Guy, Ancient Aliens… I save movies to watch on the plane because I travel so much.

Top travelling tip?

Sleep. I plan my lack of sleep two days before the flight, because I don’t like taking sleeping pills. Before I come to London, I wake up extra early the day before I fly so I have a long day, then I watch a two-hour film then sleep on the plane like a baby. Land in LA or Hong Kong or Barcelona – boom! Ready to go to work. 

Do you live out of a suitcase?

No, I have clothes in Hong Kong, New York, San Francisco and London. So I just take a backpack!

What’s in your backpack?

My laptop, my hard drive and an outfit: low-crotch pants, hat, jacket, turtle neck. Everything else is waiting for me at the other end.

Do you have a place in London?

I wanted to live in the Shard, but the prices are crazy. 

Do you watch British TV?

I used to like a really cheesy show, Toast of London. I even told my agent I wanted to be in that show, it’s hilarious. And I like Black Mirror a lot. Have you noticed that all the TV I watch is cartoons or fantasy or documentaries? I like the escape in things in that are not real – except for documentaries, which are real.

Is that what you grew up on – cartoons and fantasy?

Yeah. Are you psychoanalysing me? It’s true, I’m still a kid at heart.

Do you relate to children?

OK, so if this was Thanksgiving, this is the kids’ table. And then the adults are over there with the nice forks and knives and we have paper plates and cups. I’ve always been at the kids’ table. It’s fun and innocent and pure, and in a way I still live that way. We were broke as kids. I remember asking for 50 cents for school lunch money and my mum saying no. That’s crazy. I can’t even imagine not having 50 cents. But even through she was stressed out, my mum always made us laugh and wouldn’t let us see her worries. 

How did she do that?

We did arts and crafts together. We rollerskated together like a choo-choo train. We’d knock and ask the neighbours if they wanted to join us until we had a big chain going round the neighbourhood.

Are you looking forward to having kids yourself?

I know I’ll be a good dad. But I want to be a full-time dad like my mum was a full-time mum. You just have to stop work. But there’s always too much going on.  

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Will.i.am is a coach on The Voice Kids, Saturday 7.30pm ITV