New shiny-floor TV series Pitch Battle aims to do for singing what Strictly did for dancing – but who’ll be making dreams come true in the judge’s chairs?
Meet the musical maestro who is taking charge this summer…
Name: Gareth Malone
Best known for: BBC series The Choir, which has seen him create chart-topping musical groups of schoolchildren, military wives and other communities.
Bio: Born in London in 1975, Malone had a passion for singing when a young boy and later studied drama at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. After this he completed a postgraduate degree at the Royal Academy of Music and worked at the London Symphony Orchestra until 2009, where he ran their youth and community choir.
However, Malone’s life was to change in 2007 when he was approached by TV producers interested in making a series about singing in schools. The result was the BAFTA-winning series The Choir, which catapulted its host into the public consciousness and fostered spin-off series focusing on boys’ schools, non-singing communities and military wives.
Malone has since appeared in series including a US version of The Choir, Sing While You Work, Gareth’s All Star Choir, The Big Performance, The Naked Choir with Gareth Malone and Who Do You Think You Are?, as well as fronting BBC4 documentary Shanties and Sea Songs with Gareth Malone. His 2010 documentary Gareth Malone Goes to Glyndebourne won an International Emmy Award in the Best Arts Programme category.
Oh, and he’s also reached number 1 in the UK charts twice with both the Military Wives choir he created in 2011 and with a group of celebrities (including Pitch Battle host Mel Giedroyc) he mentored in 2014 for Children in Need. Not too shabby.
Pitch Battle begins on BBC1 at 7.30pm on Saturday 17th June.