Dannii Minogue on why Let It Shine is now a better fit for her than The X Factor
The 45-year-old judge tells RadioTimes.com about theatre production The Band and why she'd like to come back for a second series
Let It Shine panellist Dannii Minogue has ruled out a future return to The X Factor owing to the large workload being a judge on the show demands.
The actress and singer told RadioTimes.com that she now has to juggle work commitments with being a mum, and with her six-year-old son Ethan starting school in Australia, she finds it harder to sign up for big projects in the UK.
“With Let It Shine, the team completely put all the performances together,” she says. “I’m not involved in that at all. With The X Factor we were choosing the songs, the performances, the costumes, everything was done. So it is a very different role for me.
“But I think when this show came up, as much as loving the format and the vibe of the show, because I’m not doing that amount of work with the mentoring it really fitted in with me being a mum and having a son who’s starting school now in Australia. I live in a different world now to what I did years ago.”
Asked whether that rules out a future return to the ITV show, which she left in 2010 after four series, Minogue confirmed: “I don’t think that would fit in with my schedule.”
That said, she does admit to having her “eye open here as to what’s happening” in the UK in case an opportunity or two arise.
“It just depends on the right thing. It’s just got to be able to work with being a mum back in Australia – the other side of the world… It’s a little difficult!”
What she would be keen to come back for is another series of Let It Shine, which she has judged over the last eight weeks alongside Gary Barlow, Martin Kemp and a revolving panel of guest judges – Amber Riley, Lulu, Ricki Lake – and Robbie Williams, who will judge and perform on the final episode.
"I love the show,” she says. “I don’t know all the details yet about when it’s returning or what’s happening, but I’ve been very vocal in the fact that I love what the prize is for this series.
"I know we haven’t released those details to the public yet about what the [stage] show is that the boys are going into but it is so, so cool and so brilliant, I cannot wait to see it on stage. I think if the end prize is something that good, then that’s something I want to be involved in.”
Despite not being able to share the full concept at this point, Minogue reveals that the touring musical called The Band will play in theatres across the country for 12 months before transferring to the West End.
“It’s a really clever, smart way to approach a new show for anyone – not just one coming off the back of a TV show,” she says. “It’s such a tough business in the West End. When you arrive you’ve got to be a really slick machine, and all of that touring enables everyone in the production to get it just perfect.”
Although viewers have seen plenty of singing and dancing from the boys on Let It Shine, one thing we haven’t seen them do is act. However, Minogue doesn’t think that’s a problem.
“I mean they’re playing the part of a band but they’re not imitating any real life people,” she says of their acting ability. “And I think the clips where you see them hanging out together and living in each others’ pockets – that’s where I get a real sense that they are a band. They’re acting that, they’re living it out. And so I have a very keen eye on all of that as well as the performances.”
Despite the ratings for Let It Shine slipping week-on-week since the show launched in January, Minogue says she has been “nicely surprised” with how viewers have taken to the talent show.
“I don’t know how to dissect the ratings of it because I’m not producing it and not having the meetings about it,” she said. “But I think anything with a new format has to be given the chance to bed in.
“If anyone’s comparing it to The Voice and The X Factor, both of those have been going for a very long time and if you flicked on the tapes and watched them from their very first series... I think we’re in a really strong position with the kind of output we’re doing for a new show. The standard of it all, is phenomenal.
“But I think considering that it’s a brand new format going into a brand new show that doesn’t exist yet, I’ve been so nicely surprised with how the audience has come on board and said ‘Even though we don’t know what it’s going to be, we’re interested in these guys’."
Will that interest continue beyond the life of the TV series? With 12 months-worth of tickets to sell, only time will tell.
Let It Shine's grand final airs on Saturday 25th February at 6:45pm on BBC1