Kelis and Gareth Malone to judge new BBC1 singing contest Pitch Battle

The eclectic pair will be joined by a third judge each week – including Joe Jonas, Seal and Will Young

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New BBC1 entertainment show Pitch Battle has recruited an eclectic pair to head up its judging panel.

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The singing contest will be presided over by US superstar Kelis and Britain’s favourite choir master Gareth Malone with the contrasting twosome joined by a different third judge each week. These include the likes of Seal, Joe Jonas, Chaka Khan, Will Young and Bebe Rexha as rival musical groups face off against one another.

Kelis – best known for smash hits Milkshake and Millionaire – said of her new gig: “It’s kind of nice when things come full circle. I started singing in the choir as a child so it’s always been something special to me.  Now here I am 20 years later as a judge on Pitch Battle.”

Malone, who is known among viewers for fronting BBC series The Choir, added: ”I’m thrilled and excited to be part of this fantastic new show.  There’s a wealth of singing talent in this country and I’m delighted to bring that to BBC1. To me this is about finding extraordinary groups who have the skill and personality to light up our screens.”

The new series will be fronted by Mel Giedroyc who is tasked with welcoming different singing groups to the stage to compete head-to-head in a series of choral challenges including Pitch Perfect-inspired Riff Offs, a soloists challenge and an a capella round.

“I am sooo excited to be presenting this new show and PB will definitely be bringing some cracking music into people’s living rooms every Saturday!” she said. “Not only are we going to be joined by some brilliant groups and megastar judges each week but to top it all off my old mucker the original twisted choir starter Gareth Malone will be there too. What a combo!”

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Taking place across six episodes, Pitch Battle will air this summer on BBC1 where it is expected to go head-to-head with ITV’s The Voice Kids.