Gareth Malone

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Gareth Malone

Malone rehearsing at Trafalgar Square in June 2010
Born (1975-11-09) 9 November 1975 (age 47)
London, England
EducationBournemouth School
University of East Anglia
Royal Academy of Music
Occupation(s)Choirmaster and television presenter
Known forThe Choir, The Big Performance
SpouseBecky Malone
Awards2007: BAFTA Television Award – Best Feature (The Choir)

2009: BAFTA Television Award – Best Feature (The Choir: Boys Don't Sing)
2009: Broadcast Award – Best Popular Factual Programme Winner (The Choir: Boys Don't Sing)
2010: 36th BPG Television and Radio Awards – Best TV Performer in a Non-acting Role & best Factual Entertainment show (The Choir)[1]

2010: Freedom of the City of London Edit this at Wikidata

Gareth Edmund Malone OBE (born 9 November 1975[2][3]) is an English choirmaster and broadcaster, self-described as an "animateur, presenter and populariser of choral singing". He is best known for his television appearances in programmes such as The Choir, which focus on singing and introducing choral music to new participants.[3] Malone was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2012 Birthday Honours, for services to music.[4][5]


Gareth Malone was born into a family of Irish descent as the only child of James and Sian Malone, who had met at their local Gilbert and Sullivan society.[6] His father, James Malone, grew up in Parkhead in Scotland in an Irish family,[7] and was a bank manager. His English mother of Irish descent, Sian,[8] worked in the civil service.[9] Gareth was educated at Bournemouth School.[9] He sang with the Symphony Chorus of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO)[10] and he studied drama at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, where he was in the university choir and composed music for theatre productions. After graduating he gave private tuition and then applied for a postgraduate vocal studies course at the Royal Academy of Music; he passed with distinction in 2005.

Until December 2009, Malone worked for the London Symphony Orchestra at LSO St Luke's where he ran their youth choir and community choir. Whilst working at the L.S.O., Malone was awarded the position of Edward Heath Assistant Animateur in 2001. He entered television work when approached by 20/20, a production company which wanted to make a series about singing in schools. Without knowing who could front the programme they had researched the term "community choirmasters" and discovered Malone's name. The Choir was the result and won two BAFTAs[11][12] and a Broadcast award.[13]

On 31 December 2009, Malone conducted the first New Year's Eve Twitter Community Choir performance of Auld Lang Syne. He asked his followers on Twitter, and friends on Facebook, to join in with the event.

A later project was The Knight Crew, a youth opera based on a book written by Nicky Singer and performed at Glyndebourne. After choosing approximately 50 cast out of over 400 applicants between the ages of 14–20 through workshops and auditions, and months of rehearsals, The Knight Crew was performed at Glyndebourne between 3 and 6 March 2010. The project was filmed for a television series, Gareth Malone Goes to Glyndebourne and aired on the BBC on 1 July 2010.

In May 2010, Malone was awarded the Freedom of the City of London by Nick Anstee, Lord Mayor of the City of London (not to be confused with the Mayor of London) in recognition of his music education work in that city.[14]

In 2013, Malone recruited 16 singers aged from 18–27 for his Gareth Malone Voices choir. They recorded a CD album and gave concerts at 14 locations throughout Britain in 2014.[15][16]

Military Wives Choir Foundation Launch with Gareth Malone Sept 2012

Television work[edit]

Gareth Malone's television appearances began in 2007 with his reality television series The Choir, broadcast on BBC Two. The series focused on teaching choral singing to teenagers with no such experience, the first programme being set in Northolt High School, a comprehensive school in the west London suburbs. Subsequent programmes continued the theme by taking choral music to challenging situations: Boys Don't Sing (2008) featured pupils at Lancaster School, Leicester, an all-boys school where there was reluctance to sing; the third series, entitled Unsung Town, featured the formation of a community choir in South Oxhey, a suburban town where singing was not a common activity.

In 2010 Malone presented a children's programme for CBBC, The Big Performance in which ten keen, but extremely shy, young singers took the opportunity to overcome their fears. They sang for a larger audience each week, taking it in turns to be the soloist, and in the final week they performed for BBC Proms in the Park. A second series was broadcast in 2011 with the final week taking the form of a performance of a choral arrangement of the song "Keep Holding On" for the BBC charity telethon Children in Need 2011. The ten singers led a live choir in the studio along with children's choirs nationwide, linked by satellite.[17]

For the BBC Two programme The Choir: Military Wives, first broadcast in November 2011, Malone went to Chivenor Barracks in Devon, creating a choir from wives and partners of military personnel deployed to Afghanistan. The culmination of the programme was the opening performance for the Royal British Legion's Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall on 12 November 2011. The three-minute piece performed by the Military Wives Choir was the song Wherever You Are, a love poem compiled from letters written between the women and their absent husbands and partners and set to music by composer Paul Mealor.[18]

A successful campaign was launched to promote sales of the CD single, with the aim of it becoming the 2011 Christmas number one in the UK Singles Chart, which was supported by BBC Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans.[19] First day sales, which included all pre-orders, indicated that they were outselling their closest rivals, Little Mix, by a hundred singles to one, causing Ladbrokes to close betting for the Christmas number one, and Simon Cowell to admit defeat in the race. The pre-order sales caused the single to become one of the top 20 best-selling music products of all-time at

In 2011, Malone's show Gareth Malone Goes to Glyndebourne won an International Emmy Award in the Best Arts Programme category.[20]

On 16 November 2014, it was announced that Malone and a group of celebrities he had mentored had reached the UK number 1 with their Children in Need charity single "Wake Me Up", a cover of the song originally recorded by Swedish dance act Avicii.

On 10 September 2015, Malone appeared on the BBC One programme Who Do You Think You Are?[21]

In 2017, Malone presented Pitch Battle on BBC One, which The Guardian described as a "new Saturday teatime singing contest".[22] The review continued: "His Pitch Battle entrance – following the sort of VT explainer that Celebrity Big Brother contestants tend to receive – was excruciating. As the crowd roared, he opened his jacket and showed off his shirt, like a professional wrestler would if he was doing double duty as an usher at his cousin’s wedding."[22] The show was axed after one series, although Malone defended the series in a Radio Times interview, saying: "I thought it was good".[23]

In March 2020, Malone announced an initiative titled the Great British Home Chorus, a new home choir for people internationally whilst everyone was stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also revealed he had been in talks with the BBC about making another television programme. In the first week over 100,000 people viewed the first session on YouTube.[24] In July 2020, as a finale to the Great British Home Chorus, Malone orchestrated a choral version of You Are My Sunshine with over 11,000 singers taking part, accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra. The song was released as a single, with all the profits being donated to NHS Charities Together.[25]

In August 2022, Malone appeared on Celebrity Masterchef. He was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the competition.[26]

In September 2022, Malone appeared in series 2 of The Masked Dancer as Cactus.

Television filmography[edit]

Malone's television appearances include to date:[27]

Date Title Broadcaster Notes
2007 The Choir BBC Two
2008 The Choir: Boys Don't Sing[28] BBC Two
2009 The Choir: Unsung Town[29] BBC Two Broadcast by NHK Educational TV and NHK BS1 (NHK衛星第1テレビジョン, NHK Ēsē Dai-ichi Terebijon) (NHK Broadcasting Satellite Television 1) in Japan in 2010
2009 How a Choir Works[30] BBC Four Single documentary
2009 Never Mind the Buzzcocks BBC Two Appeared as a guest on panel game show
2010 Sport Relief 2010 BBC One Appeared as a guest conducting the Olympic Choir
2010 Shanties and Sea Songs with Gareth Malone[31] BBC Four Single documentary as part of BBC Sea Fever season
2010 Gareth Malone Goes to Glyndebourne[32] BBC Two Example
2010 Extraordinary School for Boys[33] BBC Two Example
2010 The Big Performance CBBC Series aimed at children
2011 The Choir Does Comic Relief 2011 BBC One Guest appearance on BBC Red Nose Day 2011 training a choir of celebrity chefs
2011 The Big Performance CBBC Series aimed at children
2011 Children in Need BBC One Guest appearance leading a choir of children
2011 The Choir: Military Wives [34] BBC Two Spin-off single "Wherever You Are" released on 18 December 2011
2012 Sing While You Work[35] BBC Two Four workplace choirs are formed and compete over six episodes
2012 Never Mind the Buzzcocks BBC Two Appeared as a guest on panel game show
2013 It Takes A Choir USA US version of The Choir
2013 Sing While You Work BBC Two Five workplace choirs are formed and compete over eight episodes
2013 Mr. Blue Sky (Jeff Lynne) BBC Four Choirs for a "The XX century Mozart, Jeff Lynne"
2014 Would I Lie To You? BBC One Appeared as a guest on the panel game show
2014 Gareth's All Star Choir BBC One A choir of celebrities create a recording of Avicii's Wake Me Up for Children in Need
2014 The Choir: New Military Wives BBC Two New military wives choir for the World War One Prom[36]
2015 Who Do You Think You Are?[21] BBC One
2015 The Naked Choir with Gareth Malone BBC Two A cappella groups compete in a competition
2015 Gareth Malone's Big Choir Reunion BBC Two
2016 Gareth's Invictus Choir BBC Two In association with the Invictus Games
2016 The Choir: Gareth's Best in Britain BBC Two
2017 Pitch Battle BBC One Judge
2019 Britain's Christmas Story BBC One Co-presenter (with Karen Gibson)
2020 The Choir: Singing for Britain BBC Two
2022 The Great Celebrity Bake Off for SU2C Channel 4 Series 5; Episode 2
2022 Celebrity Masterchef BBC One Series 17; Episodes 4-6
2022 The Masked Dancer ITV
2023 Sing for the King: The Search for the Coronation Choir[37] BBC One With Amanda Holden, Motsi Mabuse & Rose Ayling-Ellis


Gareth Malone has written two books on the subject of choral singing. His most recent title, Choir: Gareth Malone, is an account of the production of his television series The Choir.

  • Malone, Gareth (28 April 2011). Music for the People: A Journey through the Pleasures and Pitfalls of Classical Music. Collins. ISBN 978-0-00-738305-4.[38]
  • Malone, Gareth (13 September 2012). Choir: Gareth Malone. Harper Collins. ISBN 978-0007488001.[39]

Personal life[edit]

Malone is married to Becky, an English teacher.[40] They live in North London with their three children. Their eldest daughter, Esther, was born in 2010. Their son, Gilbert, was born in 2013. [41] They also have a younger daughter, Dvora, who was born in 2019. [42]


  1. ^ Douglas, Torin (26 March 2010). "Winners – 36th BPG Television and Radio Awards". Broadcasting Press Guil d. Retrieved 11 July 2010.
  2. ^ Gareth Malone at IMDb Edit this at Wikidata
  3. ^ a b Ross, Deborah (15 March 2008). "Gareth Malone: Note perfect". The Independent. Retrieved 10 September 2010.
  4. ^ "No. 60173". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 June 2012. p. 11.
  5. ^ "Honours for Branagh and Jowell". BBC News Online. 16 June 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
  6. ^ "Gareth Malone featured article: TheGenealogist". Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  7. ^ Gibb, Bill (13 April 2014) Scots singsongs were the making of Gareth Malone The Sunday Post, Retrieved 1 June 2014
  8. ^ Performance and Identity in Irish Stand-Up Comedy: The Comic 'i' By Susanne Colleary, January 2015, Palgrave Macmillan, Page 24.
  9. ^ a b Black, Claire (1 June 2014) Gareth Malone on The Choir, and his new album The Scotsman, Retrieved 1 June 2014
  10. ^ Bournemouth Echo
  11. ^ "Television Nominations 2008". British Academy of Film and Television. 2008. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  12. ^ "Television Awards Winners in 2009". British Academy of Film and Television. 2009. Archived from the original on 21 November 2010. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  13. ^ "Broadcast Winners for 2009 Announced". Directors UK. 2009. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  14. ^ "The Choir's Gareth Malone receives Freedom of the City of London". City of London Corporation. 29 March 2010. Archived from the original on 29 November 2010. Retrieved 21 July 2010.
  15. ^ Dammann, Guy (22 May 2014) Gareth Malone's Voices review – before you know it, you're singing too The Guardian, Retrieved 1 June 2014
  16. ^ Laws, Roz (7 March 2014) Touring is a dream for TV choirmaster Gareth Malone Birmingham Post, Retrieved 1 June 2014
  17. ^ "BC Children in Need Appeal – Highlights 2". BBC Children in Need.
  18. ^ "Military Wives: Wherever You Are". Gareth Malone official website. Archived from the original on 6 May 2017. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  19. ^ "Chris Evans backs military wives' choir in push for Christmas number one". The Daily Telegraph. London. 2 December 2011. Archived from the original on 3 December 2011. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  20. ^ "2011 International Emmy® Award Nominees". November 2011. Archived from the original on 25 December 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  21. ^ a b "BBC One - Who Do You Think You Are?, Series 12, Gareth Malone". BBC.
  22. ^ a b Heritage, Stuart (19 June 2017). "Gareth Malone: the excruciating downfall of Mr Choir". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  23. ^ "Gareth Malone on the future of cancelled Pitch Battle: "The BBC haven't shot it in the back of the head"". Radio Times. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  24. ^ "Gareth Malone's Great British Home Chorus announced". Facebook. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  25. ^ Shaw Roberts, Maddy (31 July 2020). "11,000 voices sing 'You Are My Sunshine' in heartwarming finale to Gareth Malone's lockdown choir". Classic FM. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  26. ^ Brazier, Tori (19 August 2022). "Celebrity MasterChef: Gareth Malone 'gutted' after elimination following 'curdled' custard catastrophe". Metro. Retrieved 3 September 2022.
  27. ^ "TV Programmes". Archived from the original on 6 May 2017. Retrieved 10 September 2010.
  28. ^ TwentyTwenty TV (2008). "Boys Don't Sing". The Choir. BBC. BBC Two.
  29. ^ TwentyTwenty TV (2009). "Unsung Town". The Choir. BBC. BBC Two.
  30. ^ "How a Choir Works". How a Choir Works. 2009. BBC. BBC Four.
  31. ^ "Shanties and Sea Songs with Gareth Malone". Sea Fever. 2010. BBC. BBC Four.
  32. ^ TwentyTwenty TV (June 2010). "Gareth Malone Goes to Glyndebourne". Gareth Malone Goes to Glyndebourne. BBC. BBC Two.
  33. ^ TwentyTwenty TV (September 2010). "Extraordinary School for Boys". School Season. BBC. BBC Two.
  34. ^ TwentyTwenty TV (November 2011). "Military Wives". The Choir. BBC. BBC Two.
  35. ^ "The Choir: Sing While You Work". Gareth Malone - official website. Archived from the original on 6 May 2017. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  36. ^ BBC documentary tells story of the Military Wives Choir’s amazing World War One commemoration SSAFA
  37. ^ "Sing for the King: The Search for the Coronation Choir". Retrieved 30 April 2023.
  38. ^ "Curtis Brown Literary and Talent Agency: Gareth Malone". Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  39. ^ "Choir: Gareth Malone – Tears, Triumphs and Transformations". Retrieved 17 October 2012.
  40. ^ "About Gareth". Archived from the original on 12 September 2010. Retrieved 10 September 2010.
  41. ^ "A girl is born!". Retrieved 22 September 2010.
  42. ^ "Gareth Malone admits he's cried during making of new 'virtual choir' TV show". Daily Mirror. 14 June 2020.

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