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30 June 2017

Who is Gareth Malone? Pitch Battle judge and star of The Choir

 

GARETH Malone is the singing genius behind BBC reality TV show The Choir.

His latest task sees him in a judging role, rather than teaching, on the new singing competition Pitch Battle. But what exactly do we know about him? Here’s the lowdown…

Gareth Malone will be head judge on new BBC singing competition Pitch Battle

Who is Gareth Malone?

Gareth is a 41-year-old choirmaster who has two children, Gilbert and Esther, with wife Becky.

He studied drama at the University of East Anglia (UEA), during which he was in the university choir. He then went on to do a postgraduate vocal studies course at the Royal Academy of Music and earned a distinction.

Gareth then ran the London Symphony Orchestra’s youth and community choirs at LSO St Luke’s until the end of 2009.

But he was later approached by a production company to front a series about singing in schools which was called The Choir.

He has since taken part in a number of singing reality TV series and was awarded an OBE in 2012 for his services to music.

Gareth has previously spoken about suffering from homophobic teasing at school – which started up again when he stepped into the limelight for the various BBC series.

Speaking to The Telegraph back in 2012, he said: “It was slightly disappointing to find that after leaving school and leaving all that behind me from the age of about 15 to 30 and then coming into television and discovering, ‘Oh, right, everyone is just as juvenile as the kids at school were’.

“I mean, I am fairly flamboyant and expressive, but I know plenty of gay people who are incredibly repressed and aren’t showy and don’t like Judy Garland, you know.”

What music reality TV series has Gareth Malone been part of?

Gareth Malone first fronted BAFTA Award-winning series The Choir in 2006. This was comprised of three episodes which showed his attempt to start a choir at Northolt School in Middlesex. He auditioned 160 students for a choir of 30, who he then had nine months to train before taking them to compete in the World Choir Games in China.

After this there were a number of spin-offs including Boys Don’t Sing in 2008, Unsung Town in 2009, Military Wives in 2011, Sing While You Work (series 1 and 2) in 2012 and 2013.

He then went onto spearhead a US version called It Takes A Choir in 2013.

In 2014 he gathered up a choir of celebrities to sing a rendition of Avicii’s Wake Me Up for Children in Need in 2014. The series was called Gareth’s All Star Choir.

Gareth then fronted The Naked Choir in 2015 and Gareth’s Invictus Choir in 2016.

Singing superstar Kelis will also be on the judging panel

When is Pitch Battle on TV and what is it about?

Pitch Battle is a new BBC One music competition which started on Saturday June 17.

Each show is 90 minutes long and there are six episodes in the series.

The main judging line-up is comprised of singer Kelis and Gareth, with a new third judge every show. This will include Seal, Joe Jonas, Chaka Khan and Will Young.

The show is hosted by Mel Giedroyc and sees rival musical groups face off against one another. They compete through a series of choral challenges including riff offs, a soloists challenge and an a capella  round.

Speaking about the show, Gareth said that he was “thrilled” to be part of the series.

He said: “There’s a wealth of singing talent in this country and I’m delighted to bring that to BBC One.

“To me this is about finding extraordinary groups who have the skill and personality to light up our screens.”

Meet the Military Wives Choir

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