Thanks to its uniquely blind auditions, The Voice UK is open to a wide range of singers – with any star connections completely unknown to the judges until they decide to turn their spinning chairs.
In the previous seven series, we’ve seen Liberty X singer Kevin Simm audition (and win), Cleopatra’s Cleo Higgins make those chairs spin, and Linda Lusardi’s daughter Lucy Kane take to the stage, to name but a few.
But in the opening episode of series eight, someone with strong connections to veteran The Voice coach Tom Jones pops up to audition.
Peter Donegan, the son of early pop and skiffle legend Lonnie Donegan MBE, chose to give The Voice a crack, and – in a literal twist of fate – Sir Tom was the coach who turned to put a face to Donegan Jr’s dulcet tones.
In his impressive career, Lonnie Donegan scored 31 Top 30 singles, three at number one, and won a coveted Ivor Novello award for his work. Son Peter used to tour alongside his dad, playing the keyboard.
Upon hearing his surname, Sir Tom asked whether he was related to the late, great Lonnie, not expecting the answer to be yes.
“We were great friends,” Sir Tom explained. “We toured together a few times.”
The 78-year-old also explained that Lonnie had written his 1967 number 2 hit I’ll Never Fall In Love Again, which Peter then reprised on the piano with Sir Tom joining in.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other journalists at The Voice press day, Sir Tom said of the chance meeting, “I hope people don’t think it was a set-up or anything, it genuinely happened like that. That was real.
“I asked if they were related as a joke. Then we sing that song, and it was magical.”
And Donegan was not the only The Voice UK auditionee who got to duet with a coach – Dreamgirls understudy Nicole Dennis performed And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going with Jennifer Hudson, who won an Oscar playing the same character as Nicole in the 2006 movie.
The Voice UK continues Saturdays on ITV