Britain’s leading choirmaster Gareth Malone takes music rather seriously: he did, after all, receive an OBE in 2012 for his contributions to music in Britain. So, perhaps it’s no surprise that he intends to keep the amateur dramatics of Simon Cowell-era music TV away from his new series Pitch Battle.
“If someone’s granny dies just before the show, we won’t even know,” he tells the latest edition of Radio Times.
The new series will see 30 groups of singers, of various styles and backgrounds, competing against one another in a series of challenges before the judges – Malone, popstar Kelis and a celebrity guest – whittle them down to six acts competing in a live final.
“[The show] is just about musical performance,” he says, “it’s not a popularity contest. We don’t have our own acts”.
Following on from his wildly successful series The Choir, which first aired in 2007, Malone will be looking to provide a more refined alternative to the current fleet of music contests such as The Voice and The X Factor. It will certainly act as a contrast to its new Saturday night competitor, The Voice Kids.
“I will be giving proper feedback, using technical terms, talking about dynamics and choral support. What Strictly does for dance, we will do it for music and I can hand-on-heart say that that hasn’t happened on a Saturday night music entertainment show before,” he says.
Pitch Battle begins on Saturday 17th June. You can read the full interview with Gareth Malone in the new edition of Radio Times, available in shops and on the newsstand from Tuesday 13th June