Will.i.am, Jennifer Hudson, Sir Tom Jones and Kylie Minogue would be an “amazing” line-up for The Voice UK’s first outing on ITV next year – but have not been confirmed.
The foursome have been revealed as being very much in ITV’s sights, but while a source close to the show tells RadioTimes.com it would a dream line-up, the spinning chairs aren’t yet filled.
“Yes, in a perfect world, if those people signed I’m sure they’d want them for the show because they’re amazing names,” the source said, as The Voice heads to ITV for the first time next January. “But it’s certainly not like they’ve all signed on the dotted line.”
“They’re on a list of names of people who are ear-marked but that’s it.”
We’re told the broadcaster is still being “realistic” and knows getting all four to sign up together will be tricky.
Indeed, this is where the old favourite word ‘chemistry’ comes out – the four coaches need to work together as a whole as well as just being big names.
As for having two women and two men – a change to The Voice’s usual formula – that’s on the table, but again not certain.
“It could go back to three guys and a woman, but they’re not specifically looking for it to be like that,” the source explained. “As long as they get the chemistry right that’s all that matters.”
Will.I.Am, from what we’ve been told, has been in talks about sticking around even before the show had its final spin on the BBC. There is a keenness among the producers to keep him, the coach having been with the show throughout its previous five series, giving it much of its flavour.
Kylie proved popular when she joined for one series in 2014 – and hasn’t ever ruled out a return. Ms Minogue told Alan Carr in 2014 that her future with the reality show was an “open book”.
Jennifer Hudson is seen as a credible artist with a long-standing career that can be used to her advantage in coaching new talent. And brief appearances on other shows – including as a guest judge alongside Kelly Rowland on X Factor in 2011 – have been met with good feedback.
As for original coach Sir Tom Jones, we’re told he’s yet to be approached about coming back but is “in the mix”. If he were to return it would have a feel of the ‘viewer victory’ about it, the news of his last-minute cut from last year’s series having been met with widespread disappointment from fans.
But let’s not forget about the rest of the current line-up: Paloma Faith, Boy George and now two-time champ Ricky Wilson. They are “not out of the running” and form part of this “exhaustive list”. It will depend on who wants back in – Paloma has seemed unsure, Ricky Wilson has both wanted out and in, and Boy George has made mention of an ambition to be on international panels – and how they fit with the others that sign up.
Discussions, for now at least, continue.
A show spokesperson added: “The coaches for The Voice 2017 on ITV have yet to be confirmed, more details will be confirmed in due course.”
The Voice UK launches on ITV next year