The Voice UK

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For the upcoming series, see The Voice UK (series 5)
The Voice UK
The Voice UK.png
Genre Talent show
Created by John de Mol
Presented by
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 4
No. of episodes 62
Running time 30–130 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Productions UK
ITV Studios
Original channel BBC One
Picture format 576i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Audio format Dolby Digital 5.1
Original release 24 March 2012 (2012-03-24) – present
Related shows The Voice of Holland
The Voice (U.S.)
The Voice: Louder on Two
The Voice (Australian TV series)
External links
Production website

The Voice UK is a British television talent show created by John de Mol and based on the concept The Voice of Holland. It began airing on BBC One on 24 March 2012. There are five different stages to the show: producers' auditions, blind auditions, battle phase, knockouts, and live shows. The winner receives £100,000 and a record deal with Universal Republic. There have been four winners to date: Leanne Mitchell, Andrea Begley, Jermain Jackman and Stevie McCrorie.

The original coaches for the first two series were, Sir Tom Jones, Jessie J and Danny O'Donoghue. Kylie Minogue and Ricky Wilson replaced Jessie J and O'Donoghue in the third series. However, Minogue left after one series and was replaced by Rita Ora. Ora also left after one series with a replacement to be announced. The first two series were co-presented by Holly Willoughby and Reggie Yates, with Emma Willis and Marvin Humes taking over from the third series. The show involves artists drawn from public auditions, and is part of The Voice franchise. It is produced by Wall to Wall as well as Dutch production company Talpa Productions.

The BBC won a "bidding war" with ITV, paying £22 million for the rights to broadcast the show in the UK for two years. ITV's Britain's Got Talent launched its sixth series on the same date of 24 March 2012.[1] Many media outlets saw this move as a deliberate attempt by ITV to create a "TV ratings war" with the BBC.[2]


The Voice first came to the public eye when the BBC revealed that it was exploring the possibility of acquiring the rights.[3] However, ITV was also interested[3] as it was concerned that The X Factor could lose ratings after Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue left the panel. ITV were said to be afraid that the show with ould "upstage" theirs.[3] It was reported by The Sun that BBC and ITV were in a "bidding war" for The Voice UK.[4] The Sun‍‍ '​‍s Colin Robertson and Leigh Holmwood stated that ITV were "nervous", "fearing" that The Voice UK could "undermine" the X Factor.[4] The Sun had previously reported that the BBC were "close" to getting The Voice, as well as saying that "ITV executives had originally told X Factor top brass they weren't interested in picking up the rights." However, "now they have told owners of The Voice format they ARE interested."[4] A source said, "The X Factor has had a bit of a rollercoaster ride already this year and ITV fear any rival new show could blow it out of the water. The hype around The Voice is now so great that ITV feels it has no choice but to be in the running for it. If the BBC got it—and managed to sign Cheryl—then it could snare loads of viewers away from The X Factor."[4] ITV were planning to have The Voice UK as "'companion show'" for The X Factor.[4]

On 18 June 2011, it was reported that the BBC had won the rights to The Voice UK. In mid-2011 it was revealed that BBC would be broadcasting The Voice after paying £22 million.[5] Danny Cohen, the controller of BBC One, said he wants the programme to emulate the success of The Apprentice and defended his decision to invest in it. Cohen said, "I thought it was really good. Every so often the BBC occasionally buys something from abroad that is peerlessly good, like The Apprentice. We adapted that for Britain with Alan Sugar and made the British version the best in the world. We hope The Voice will do similarly. We shouldn't shut the door on anything."[6]

It was later revealed that The Voice would not be going head-to-head with The X Factor as Strictly Come Dancing is broadcast at the end of the year.[5][6] Channel 4 had entered the bidding war with the BBC and ITV, but later pulled out after the channel's director called the show "derivative" and "a rip-off".[7] It was said that the BBC was keen to sign up a new singing-talent show after it dropped Fame Academy in 2004 and had not revisited the genre. It was also eager to schedule a replacement for So You Think You Can Dance, which was dropped in 2011. Presenter Holly Willoughby also stated that The Voice UK is a "feel good show" saying, "The difference [with The Voice] is it's a blind audition, the coaches can't see the contestants when they come on stage so they judge them purely on their voice and their voice alone. It's really feel-good and the coaches are incredible."[8]

Devised by John de Mol, the creator of Big Brother, The Voice is based on the Dutch TV programme The Voice of Holland and is part of The Voice franchise, being based on the similar U.S. format.[9] The BBC were "desperate" to get The Voice UK after they axed So You Think You Can Dance.[4]

According to Anita Singh from The Daily Telegraph, the BBC have spent £22 million on buying the rights to the show, which will last two years. Of the amount of money spent on it, a BBC spokesperson said, "There is an awful lot of pressure, given the money spent on the format, for the ratings to be good. But at the moment all signs are that it will be cash well spent."[10] Singh stated however, that this contradicted a "pledge" made by Mark Thompson, the director-general. He said, "The BBC needs to make a further significant shift towards distinctiveness, spending more of the licence fee on output which, without the BBC, wouldn't get made at all." The ITV reportedly "offered more for the format but were turned down".[11] After comparisons to the X Factor were made, Cohen defended the decision to gain the rights to the show saying, "We feel that there's enough difference in this format that it will stand out. The fact that ITV tried very hard to get it—even though they've got The X Factor—suggests that they feel this show is different enough [from that one]."[12]

We've got three dancing shows on BBC One this year on Saturday nights, and I wanted to decrease that but still find ways that we could have live, often performance-based television. We are in an era where the audience love that [and] we shouldn't ignore what the audience want."

Danny Cohen on why the BBC choose to get the rights for The Voice UK.[12]

In October 2011, it was announced that Moira Ross executive producer of Strictly Come Dancing quit the show to join production company Wall to Wall, so that she could take the position of executive producer of The Voice UK.[13]

The BBC were planning to make each performance on the show available for download each week, with the proceeds going to charity or the downloads being free, before it is then released commercially.[14] The winner will receive £100,000, as well as a record deal with Universal Republic.[9]

On 24 May 2013, it was reported that BBC One was close to recommissioning the show for a third series in 2014.[15] The next day, it was confirmed that it will return for a third series.[16] In July 2013, Jessie J and Danny O'Donoghue confirmed they would not be able to return as coaches for series 3 due to their music careers and touring. In September, Holly Willoughby and Reggie Yates announced they would not be returning as co-presenters for series 3. It was confirmed the same month that Kylie Minogue and Ricky Wilson would replace Jessie J and O'Donoghue. It was announced that Emma Willis and Marvin Humes would replace Willoughby and Yates as co-presenters for the third series. On 29 March 2014, the BBC confirmed the series would be returning for another two series.[17] In April, Minogue confirmed that she would not return for series 4 due to clashes with her Kiss Me Once Tour. On 22 September, it was confirmed that Rita Ora would replace Minogue.


After speculation in February,[18] the show's air date was confirmed on 10 March 2012.[19] Of this announcement, the show's Twitter account said, "Two weeks from now, something new will be on your television, something so great you'll want to run up and kiss the screen. Just FYI."[19] Britain's Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon confirmed the launch date for the Britain's Got Talent, with it being the same day as The Voice UK's.[20] Britain's Got Talent was brought forward by ITV, so it could clash with the show.[20] Of this move a BBC source said, "This is typical of ITV, parking their tanks on our lawn just as we launch a major new format. They are smarting because they didn't get the show although they bid £10 million more than us." However an ITV source responded saying, "We haven't declared our launch date but, if I was a betting man, I'd go for March 24. The BBC know we always launch BGT around this time. If anyone is parking tanks on a lawn, it's them on ours!"[21] For the past four years however, Britain's Got Talent has launched in mid-April.[20] BBC and ITV were reportedly in a "scheduling war". BBC moved the show from its supposed 7:15 slot to 7:00, to avoid "significant overlap". ITV then responded by moving Britain's Got Talent from its original slot at 7:45 to 7:30.[22] A BBC source said, "It is disappointing they chose to launch Britain's Got Talent on the same day as us. To not even meet us halfway on avoiding any sort of overlap is incredibly competitive."[22]

As The Voice progressed, it became clear that audiences were staying loyal during the period when it clashed with Britain's Got Talent. After the third Blind Auditions round, when the BBC programme enjoyed a viewership margin of some four million, Simon Cowell and ITV executives moved their show to a later start time.[23]

In an exclusive interview with Digital Spy, Cowell stated that the show is "competition" for Britain's Got Talent. He said, "I recognise [The Voice] as a challenge. The BBC must be confident because they have put it up against this show. They want to make a competition out of it. So we've got to make [Britain's Got Talent] better. Everyone benefits because of that."[24] However, presenter Reggie Yates denied this: "I don't know if this is about toppling anyone. This is a very different animal altogether. I think when you see what this show is all about, you'll see exactly where we are coming from."[25]


The first promotional item the BBC released was a video on the official website. It read, "Four of the biggest names in music are looking for incredible singing talent to compete for the title of The Voice UK. Only the most unique and distinctive voices will make it to the filmed auditions and get to sing for our celebrity coaches".[26] To promote the show, all four coaches went to Central London launch event, which took place at Soho Hotel on 24 February 2012.[27] Daily Mirror‍‍ '​‍s Jo Usmar commented on the promotion of the show, stating that the trailer will "get you juices flowing".[28] A further trailer was released on 9 March, featuring footage from the show, "including interviews with the panel, a first look at some contestants and bickering between the coaches".[19]

Social media[edit]

According to Digital Spy, the BBC was trying to "boost audience participation with a wealth of social media and online activity, as viewers often watch programmes while also commenting and engaging via Twitter and Facebook on a smartphone, laptop or tablet".[29] Telegraph Hill, having previously worked on BBC Three dramas Being Human and The Fades, put in place a full-time team of "social media creatives" who will generate online videos around the show, and on the show's Facebook and Twitter pages.[29]

Auditions and filming[edit]

The producer auditions of series one began on 31 October 2011.[26] Five events took place in London, two events in Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester and Cardiff, and one event in Belfast.[26] Solo artists and duos can participate, however, they must be aged sixteen or over.[26] The coaches did not attend the producer's auditions.[26] The standard of the auditions has been described as "amazing" and "top standard".[30] The blind auditions for the first series were held at BBC Television Centre and has since been held at MediaCityUK, where every coach is given a "plush" dressing room.[31] Coach Danny O'Donoghue told Digital Spy of the talent at the auditions, "The talent on show after the first auditions on the first day beat out any talent in any finals I've ever seen on television. The hair on the back of my neck and arms was standing up. 16 and 17-year-olds were up there killing it".[32]

Series overview[edit]

Series Premiere Finish Winner Runner-up Fourth place Winning coach Hosts
1 24 March 2012 2 June 2012 Leanne Mitchell Bo Bruce Vince Kidd Sir Tom Jones Holly Willoughby
Reggie Yates
Tyler James
2 30 March 2013 22 June 2013 Andrea Begley Leah McFall Matt Henry Danny O'Donoghue
Mike Ward
3 11 January 2014 5 April 2014 Jermain Jackman Christina Marie Jamie Johnson Emma Willis
Marvin Humes
Sally Barker
4 10 January 2015 4 April 2015 Stevie McCrorie Lucy O'Byrne Sasha Simone Ricky Wilson
Emmanuel Nwamadi
5 2016 2016 TBA TBA TBA TBA


The Voice is a reality television series that features four coaches looking for a talented new artist, who could become a global superstar. The show's concept is indicated by its title: the coaches do not judge the artists by their looks, personalities, stage presence or dance routines—only their vocal ability. It is this aspect that differentiates The Voice from other reality television series such as The X Factor, Britain's Got Talent or even Must Be the Music. The competitors are split into four teams, which are mentored by the coaches who in turn choose songs for their artists to perform. There is no specific age range and anyone can audition; if a coach likes what they hear, a button-press allows their chair to spin around and face the performer, signifying that they would like to mentor them. If more than one does so, then the artist selects a coach. However, if no coach turns around then the artist is sent home.[33] The Voice has been referred to as a "big, exciting and warm-hearted series"and a "new generation in its genre".[5] The discomfort caused by the poor design of the chair, which weighs 19-stone, has drawn criticism from, who claims that it makes him hunch his shoulders.[34]

There are five different stages: producers' auditions, Blind auditions, Battle phase, Knockout stage and live shows.

Producers' auditions and blind auditions[edit]

The Voice UK‍ '​s first stage is the producers' auditions, which are not shown on television.[26] The first shown stage is the blind auditions, where they sing in front of the coaches. The coaches have their backs to the singer, and if they like what they hear, they can press their button to turn around and recruit them to their team. If more than one coach turns, the power shifts to the singer, who then decides which team they would like to be part of. Each coach must recruit 12 singers to their team in the blind auditions to progress on to the battle phase.[9]

Battle phase[edit]

The second stage, 'Battle phase', is where two artists are mentored and then developed by their respective coach.[33] The coaches of the team will "dedicate themselves to developing their artists, giving them advice, and sharing the secrets of their success in the music industry".[9] Members of teams perform duets and the coach choses who advances to the next stage.[9]

In Series 2 (2013), the BBC introduced a new 'steal' twist to the Battle phase. The 'steal' gives a chance to the losers of the head-to-head battles to give one last pitch to the coaches, excluding their own coach, on why they should remain in the process. The coaches then have an amount of time to push their button on their spinning chairs if they want the contestant on their team. As with the blind auditions, if more than one coach presses their button, the contestant choses which coach to join.[35] In Series 4 (2015), a second steal was added, thus increasing the progressing team to eight members.[36]

Knockout stage[edit]

The third stage of the competition is the 'Knockout stage'. It was first introduced in the second series (2013). The four coaches will enter this stage with seven team members each; six winners of the battle phase, and one stolen member. Artists perform a 'killer song' of their choosing and the coaches each pick three members of their team to go through to the live shows, creating a final 12 for the public vote.[35]

Live shows[edit]

In the 'Live shows' artists perform in front of the coaches and audience, broadcast live.[9]

In the first series (2012), each coach had five artists in their team to begin with and the artists went head-to-head to win public votes.[33] The votes determined which artists advanced to the final eight.[33]

The final eight artists competed in a live broadcast.[33] However, the coaches had a 50/50 say with the audience and the public in deciding which artists moved on to the 'final four' phase.[33] In the latter, each coach had one member who continued. The final (the winner round) was decided upon by the public vote.[33] Throughout the final the coaches frequently performed with their artists.[33] The winner was crowned The Voice.[9]

From the second series (2013), after the introduction of the 'steal' in the battle phase and the new 'knockout stage', each coach will have three artists on their team a total of 12 artists in the live shows to fight for the public vote and to be crowned 'The Voice', subsequently receiving a record deal with Universal Music.[35]

Louder on Two[edit]

Starting on 24 March 2014, a new spin-off series aired on BBC Two during the live shows every weekday nights. The series is hosted by Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two presenter Zoë Ball,[37] and features interviews with the coaches and contestants as well as providing live acoustic performances by the artists. The show did not return in 2015, for the fourth series of the main show.


The coaching line-up was officially announced on 8 December 2011.[38] It was called a "blockbuster line-up" by Will Payne of the Daily Mirror.[39] Summing up the entire panel, Cohen said, "Overall, our lineup of Tom Jones, Jessie J, and Danny O'Donoghue gives us mega-star quality, great musical range and musicians we know our audience love".[38] Presenter Holly Willoughby described them as "badass", "incredible", and that when you "put them all in the room together, magic happens. They all come from different areas of the music industry and it's quite magical seeing them together."[25] A writer for website, described the panel as "superstar(s)".[40]

The Voice coach Christina Aguilera advised the show's coaches to be "positive", saying, "One of the reasons I was hesitant about doing a show like this was because I wanted to make sure I was a part of something very positive and not negative just for television’s sake. I wanted to bring positivity and a really honest perspective – it’s better for everyone".[40] Jones said that the show has more "credibility" than others, due to the judging panel. He said, "We've been through it, we know what it's like to get up and perform, unlike some judges on some other shows that just don't know, they've never done it. The ones that have are not very good anyway".[41]

All four coaches confirmed they would return as coaches for a second series.[42] Kylie Minogue and Ricky Wilson joined and Jones as coaches for the third series following the departures of Jessie J and O'Donoghue. Rita Ora replaced Minogue for the fourth series.

Current Coaches[edit][edit]

Main article:

On 25 October 2011, it was reported that American rapper would be joining The Voice UK as a coach. A source said, "Will is 95 per cent a done deal. He's a big star and loves nurturing new talent. He shoots from the lip, and will not be afraid to tell it like it is. Although, I doubt The Voice will be as bitchy as The X Factor".[43] was later confirmed as a coach on The Voice UK, of this he said, "I'm proud to be doing The Voice UK because the UK was the first place I saw success," he said. "It's the place I'm the most creative outside of home." Cohen added, "I am thrilled that has signed up to be a coach on The Voice. He is a huge star who will bring a unique creativity to the show."[44] Talking about the differences between the show and X Factor, "I won’t be a judge on X Factor. The Voice is different. You can’t even compare the two. One, you have people in the music industry, current and legends, coaching the next generation. The other format you have judges critiquing, giving their opinions on things when they don’t really know, other than Randy Jackson on Idol.[45]

In preparation for the role as a coach, he asked friend and ex-X Factor judge Cheryl Cole. Talking to Capital FM he said, "I reached out to Cheryl for advice on keeping your cool, having a poker face, the importance of sticking with the singers – it's their dream, a lot of the times when you have other performers a part of the show, celebrities tend to want the shine so they hog up time. So my whole thing was that I want to do The Voice, but I don't want to hog up time to where the singers up there are looking like, 'Is this about you guys?'.[46] In March 2012, it was reported that he had turned his "plush" dressing room into a recording studio, and "instead of just listening with his headphones, he has installed some mega bass bins". A show source said, "" goes everywhere with his music kit. So it was no surprise to everyone when he and his crew turned up with a stack of gear on the first day. Producers thought it was great as we want him to be happy while he's on the show, and who knows what ideas he'll come up with for his acts? But the stuffy suits upstairs were a bit unhappy about it. Will has some serious bass in there and it was vibrating the walls—you could almost see the dandruff being shaken off their heads".[31]

Sir Tom Jones[edit]

Main article: Tom Jones (singer)

On 19 October 2011, it was reported that Welsh singer Tom Jones would be a coach on the show. A newspaper reported, "Tom is close to committing. He has almost 50 years experience in music so he'll be able to give artists decent advice. Jessie J will attract younger viewers but Tom's bound to be the housewives' favourite."[47] In December 2011, it was accidentally revealed by Jessie J that Jones was to be a coach on The Voice UK. Jessie said, "I can’t wait to meet Tom Jones. He’s Tom Jones, after all".[48] On 8 December 2011, it was officially announced that along with O'Donoghue, Jones would be completing the panel. Jones said, "I'm excited about The Voice, and thrilled to be participating as a coach. This is a strong show; it's all about talent - but it's also exciting, competitive and compelling television. I've been blessed over the years to share the stage with some of the world's finest artists, and I look forward to being part of the team that discovers a great, new, genuine talent." BBC One controller Cohen said of this announcement, "I'm delighted to be announcing Tom Jones and Danny O'Donoghue as coaches for The Voice. Tom is a music legend and will bring huge experience and creativity to the lineup".[38] has said that he shows "admiration" for Jones, stating that Jones was the reason he chose to be a coach on the show. He said, "We started with a music industry being one thing where it was truly about the song, the performance, the voice. You didn’t know if the singer was short, black, white, fat or skinny. Tom Jones was a part of that. He was a part of music when it was about going on The Ed Sullivan Show and American Bandstand. He was a part of that. He witnessed the American music industry when it was feuding black and white. He saw two cultures come together. That’s why I’m proud to work on a show with Tom".[40] Jones told the BBC why he choose to join the show saying, "When I first came to London in '63, and tried to get a record contract, they said that I looked too macho. So they were looking at me before they were listening to me, that hasn't really changed, and I don't agree with it. That's why The Voice is very important because there's no preconceived image. There's a lot of people out there and a lot of different kinds of music that needs to be made".[41] Daily Mirror‍‍ '​‍s Jo Usmar commented that she is most excited about Jones out of all the coaches.[28]

Ricky Wilson[edit]

On 19 September 2013, Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson confirmed he would replace Danny O'Donoghue as a coach in series 3. He said ‘Who doesn’t want to spend their Saturday night with Kylie Minogue? I spent last winter yelling at The Voice, and both Sir Tom Jones and were total superstars. I’m just lucky the Kaiser Chiefs have rubber-stamped my temporary loan!'[49]

Former Coaches[edit]

Jessie J[edit]

Main article: Jessie J

On 4 October 2011, singer Jessie J was confirmed as a coach on The Voice UK. It was announced on Chris Moyles BBC Radio 1 breakfast show, speaking of this she said "I can't wait, I'm so excited about it." Danny Cohen, the controller of BBC One said, "Jessie J is going to be an amazing coach on The Voice UK. She's a massive young star with a strong personality, and her recent MOBO nominations are testament to her musical and creative ability." Jessie added: "I'm excited to be a coach, inspiration and mentor and I jumped at the opportunity as it's all about 'the voice'."[50] Jessie told The Sun why she choose to join The Voice UK saying, "The Voice is a show where I think I fit. The idea of being a coach and an inspiration and a mentor rather than a judge is something I can relate to. I only start on The Voice after the people have been filtered through who can really sing. It is not people who are going to be laughed at for entertainment. And it is them picking us. It is not me turning anyone down—it is them turning me down. It is about spontaneity. It is going to be an amazing experience".[51] She later stated that she was "really happy" that she was the only female on the panel,[48] as well as telling The Sun that she does not want emotional stories from the contestants, saying she is going to be "hard" on the contestants,[52] later saying in an interview with the Daily Star Sunday, "I may be young but I'm not scared of being critical. I like how Simon Cowell says exactly what he thinks, whether people like it or not. I don't care if people don't like me and I'm prepared for that. Even if they are on my team, that doesn't mean I'm going to say it was good if it wasn't. I'm not a robot. I sing out of tune sometimes so I'm not scared to tell someone else if they have. I'm going to be honest. That's what the industry needs more of right now".[53] Jessie is meant to "attract younger viewers".[47]

Jessie told Daily Mail that unlike X Factor, that there is no rivalry between her and fellow coaches saying, "The show is not about who is arguing with who. Back stage we are all getting on and we are all focused on our artists. [With other programmes] you are stuck reading about who is not getting on with who. We are focusing on the inspirational and the positive".[54] Presenter Holly Willoughby opined that if she was a contestant, she would want Jessie as her coach. She said, "I do genuinely love them all, but if I were to be honest, I do have a soft spot for Jessie J. If I were a contestant, I'd pick her to be my coach. I'm drawn to her, she has this incredible energy about her. She's so cool and she's only 23! I wasn't as cool as her when I was 23, that's for sure".[55] On 24 August, Jessie confirmed via Twitter that she would be returning for a 2nd series.[56] On 5 July 2013, she confirmed that she will not be returning for the third series in 2014, saying that "music has to take priority".[57] In July 2014, when asked about the possibility of her returning to the show to replace Kylie Minogue, she said that she "hasn't been asked", although stating she "just want[s] to be about the music right[ing] on the stage, not facing it".[58]

Danny O'Donoghue[edit]

Main article: Danny O'Donoghue

On 8 December 2011, it was announced that along with Sir Tom Jones, O'Donoghue would be completing the panel. O'Donoghue said, "I'm a massive fan of The Voice, so to be involved as a coach is amazing. This is a show unlike any other because it puts vocal ability first above all else. I look forward to putting my team together and battling it out with the other coaches to see who wins this unique, credible competition. I'm in it to win it!". BBC One controller Cohen said of this announcement, "I'm delighted to be announcing Tom Jones and Danny O'Donoghue as coaches for The Voice. Danny is a rising star who will bring freshness and surprise to the team".[38] Singer Will Young was originally meant to be in O'Donoghue's place, though at last minute, O'Donoghue was chosen. Young said that the BBC "wanted to go more rock".[59] According to French media site PureMédias, Will was the "big favourite for the swivel chair".[60] When O'Donoghue replaced Young as a coach, singer Professor Green argued that "No-one knows who Danny is".[61] Echoing Green's words, members of Twitter have nicknamed O'Donoghue 'I Dunno Who' and James Corden also made the singer the main "gag" at the 2012 BRIT Awards. Of this Donoghue said, "James who? Whatever? It's up to other people to make up their own minds. I know I'm on this show for what I've done in my career. I've spent 15 years in the music industry, it's all I know. The proof is in the pudding and I think people should check out the show and in particular James should probably check it out before he goes saying things like that".[62]

Of the comparisons between The Voice and The X Factor O'Donoghue said, "We are our entity. We look after ourselves. We've produced some of the best talent you've seen in the UK ever. There was a moment last night in filming when all four coaches stood and remained stood up for the rest of the performance. We were so blown away by the level of the talent. I'm excited to just be part of this. I feel this is a game-changer in the UK scene. This is really, really going to give the UK music scene a kick up the backside".[32] reported that O'Donoghue is "worried that nobody will be able to understand him" as he is Irish, but the website stated that he "needs to look at X Factor judge Louis Walsh- somehow we all hear what he’s saying each week".[40] On 16 July 2013, Danny announced he was to the leave the show to concentrate on the Script.[63] At the Series 4 final, O'Donoghue made a return to the show with The Script, performing "Man on a Wire", becoming the first coach to return to the show after leaving.[64]

Kylie Minogue[edit]

Main article: Kylie Minogue

Following speculation throughout Summer 2013, on 11 September 2013, it was announced that Australian pop princess Kylie Minogue would be joining the coaching lineup in 2014.[65] Speaking about joining the show, Minogue said "I'm very excited to become a coach on The Voice UK. I love the concept of the show and have been an avid viewer of both series. The search for new talent is such an important aspect of the music industry and The Voice UK gives us all a part to play in that. Will I be competitive? Probably more than even I imagine! Watch this space!"[66] Mark Linsey, controller entertainment commissioner for the BBC, said that "Kylie is a hugely respected figure within the world of music and will be a fantastic addition to The Voice UK."[67] Fellow coaches, and Tom Jones spoke highly about Kylie joining the show. stated in a press release, "I'm excited to be returning for season three and to work with Kylie and Tom. Together we will mix it up and bring new energy and ideas to the show."[66] Tom Jones said that Kylie and the then unnamed fourth coach would be a welcome addition to the show.[68]

Minogue is the third biggest selling female singles artist of all time in the UK, only behind Madonna and Rihanna and the 12th best selling singer in the UK. She was also awarded an OBE by the Prince of Wales in 2008, and has sold over 70 million records worldwide. She is also widely recognised and commended for charitable work, and for overcoming breast cancer at the age of 36. She has had 7 UK Number One hits and sold over 10 million singles in the UK, and she was the first female solo artist to have a Number One album in four consecutive decades.[67] (2014)

Prior to accepting the offer for the third series, Minogue was rumoured to have turned down the £1 million offer to join The Voice UK in 2011.[69] On 22 March 2014, Minogue confirmed that she will not be returning for another series, however when asked if she would return if filming dates were moved she said "I would have to think about it really seriously as I did for this series".[70] Two days later, the BBC confirmed that she was not quitting the show.[71] However, on 11 April 2014, Minogue tweeted that she would not be returning.[72] On the day her Kiss Me Once Tour began in Liverpool (which she cited as the reason she left the show), Kylie Minogue said that Rita Ora's "really excited" and that she thinks "she will be great".[73]

Rita Ora[edit]

Main article: Rita Ora

On 23 September 2014, Rita Ora was announced via the show's Facebook account to be the fourth coach appearing on fourth season on the show, along with a showreel video. Commenting upon her arrival on the show, she said that she's "so excited to be part of - and for my team to win - The Voice this series!" She also commented that she is "really looking forward to the blind auditions - and spinning in [her] big red chair."[74]

When asked to comment upon Ora's arrival, Jones said that he's "really looking forward to coming back to The Voice for season four. Not only do I get to know and work with Rita, I can once again enjoy hearing and seeing the talent that comes from just about every corner of the UK." also said that "Rita is sweet, spicy and sassy - she's going to be a great addition to the Coaches team." Charlotte Moore, the controller of BBC One said that "Rita Ora has a unique sense of style and her no-nonsense attitude will really mix things up on the spinning chairs alongside, Tom Jones and Ricky Wilson."

On 1 March 2015, it was first reported that Ora could be leaving the series after just one series, when presenter Marvin Humes told The Daily Star Sunday that he "wouldn't be surprised if she was too busy to come back next year. [...] Jessie J and Kylie both quit so they could tour, so it wouldn't be a huge shock if Rita did the same." He also added that there was a possibility that Minogue and Ora could "job share".[75] During an open mic night where Ora's finalists performed, Ora was asked if she would return next year, to which she replied "That's THE question. Let me get through this series first." [76] Rumours began circulating again when Ora shared a photo of the four coaches on Instagram two days after the fourth series final, with a caption saying "I'm Gon[n]a miss these guys ... thank you for being [three] of the best people to work with ever!"[77] Around the same time, Tom Jones said that he hoped she wouldn't quit following her first series.[78] On 16 June 2015, Ora joined the judging panel of rival series The X Factor.[79]On 26 June 2015, Ora confirmed she was leaving The Voice due to touring commitments out of the country.[80]


On 29 August 2011, Holly Willoughby and Reggie Yates were announced as the co-presenters for the show. Willoughby said, "I'm so excited to be hosting The Voice. It's going to be one roller coaster of a ride and I can't wait to get started!". Yates commented, "I'm so delighted to get this job and be part of such a credible music show. The format of The Voice in America has worked brilliantly, and I have no doubt it will be just as successful on British TV". BBC One controller Danny Cohen stated that Willoughby and Yates were "the perfect partnership". He added, "They are both big fans of the show and will bring a huge amount of passion and enthusiasm to the production".[81]

Willoughby stated that the show is a "feel good show" saying, "The difference [with The Voice] is, it's a blind audition, the coaches can't see the artists when they come on stage so they judge them purely on their voice and their voice alone," said the presenter. It's really feel-good and the coaches are incredible".[8] Willoughby stated that she wanted to be involved in the show as "soon as she saw the US version". She said, "I'm really excited about The Voice. I'd watched all the press unfold about the American version - how well it had done, and the incredible coaches - and as soon as there was talk of it coming to the UK, I thought, 'Wow, that is absolutely something I would love to do'. Obviously I'm used to live TV with 'This Morning', but entering into any new show is scary and I'll definitely be nervous on the first live show. It really helps that I'm doing it with Reggie - we started at CBBC together, although this is the first time we've actually worked together".[82]

Yates added that being backstage on the show is like "being backstage with the nans", however, Yates admits that he is "falling in love" with them.[83] Of whether the show is credible Yates added, "Everyone who says they don't watch TV talent shows is a liar. You only have to look at the coaches, this isn't a joke. It's very serious and you've got people who are credible. Sir Tom Jones - he's sold over 100m records… anyone who's got any criticisms won't have them after they've seen the first episode."[83]

The two later added that Willoughby cries more than the auditionees saying, "It's a bit different for me because there's not much scooping up to be done. Obviously there are people who are going to be disappointed, but there are more happy tears than sad tears. The hardest thing is being with the families because they want it so much for their loved ones and they are powerless to do anything about it. When the artist comes off stage they tend to be fine. Even when the audition doesn't end up with them in the competition, they are given such great feedback from the coaches they seem ok… they learn so much when they come off set that they are kind of elated.[83] On 7 August 2012, Willoughby revealed to Look Magazine that she may not return to host the second series.[84] Asked if she will present the show again, Willoughby said: "I don't know yet. I think we're just waiting for the dust to settle.[85]

On 14 September 2013, Willoughby and Yates announced they would not return as co-presenters for the third series. It was confirmed on the same day that Emma Willis would be Willoughby's replacement. On 17 September, Marvin Humes announced he would take over Yates' role as Willis' co-presenter.

Coaches' teams and their artists[edit]

In each series, each coach chooses a number of acts to progress to the live finals. This table shows, for each series, which artists he or she put through to the live finals.

     – Winning judge/category. Winners are in bold, eliminated contestants in small font.
Series Jessie J Sir Tom Jones Danny O'Donoghue
One Tyler James
Jaz Ellington
Joelle Moses
Frances Wood
Sophie Griffin
Vince Kidd
Becky Hill
Toni Warne
Cassius Henry
Ruth-Ann St. Luce
Leanne Mitchell
Ruth Brown
Adam Isaac
Matt and Sueleen
Samuel Buttery
Bo Bruce
Max Milner
David Julien
Aleks Josh
Hannah Berney
Two Leah McFall
Cleo Higgins
Leanne Jarvis
Matt Henry
Ash Morgan
Sarah Cassidy
Mike Ward
Joseph Apostol
Alys Williams
Andrea Begley
Karl Michael
Mitchel Emms
Three Kylie Minogue Sir Tom Jones Ricky Wilson
Jermain Jackman
Sophie-May Williams
Iesher Haughton
Jamie Johnson
Lee Glasson
Rachael O'Connor
Sally Barker
Bizzi Dixon
Georgia Harrup
Christina Marie
Chris Royal
Emily Adams
Four Rita Ora Sir Tom Jones Ricky Wilson
Lucy O'Byrne
Sheena McHugh
Vikesh Champaneri
Joe Woolford
Karis Thomas
Clark Carmody
Sasha Simone
Howard Rose
Lara Lee
Stevie McCrorie
Emmanuel Nwamadi
Autumn Sharif
Five Kylie Minogue Sir Tom Jones Ricky Wilson


Series averages[edit]

The first series became BBC One’s biggest new entertainment series on record with a consolidated series average of 9.2million/38.5% share.[86] Across all episodes, including results shows, The Voice UK averaged 8.54m/36.3%.[86] The second series suffered a lot from clashes with Britains Got Talent and premiered 7.47 million viewers in the official ratings. It went on to have the most successful final, however, with 8 million tuning in. This series averaged 7.45m/26.8%.[87] From series 3 onwards, the show was moved to a January start to avoid clashes with Britains got Talent. This paid off as the 3rd series averaged a much higher viewership of 8.1m/31.6% and series 4 went on to average 8.55m/34.8% making it the most watched series to date.[87]

Series Series premiere Series premiere
viewing figures
Series finale Series finale
viewing figures
(inc. results shows)
Average UK viewers
in millions
(inc. results shows)
1 24 March 2012 9.44 2 June 2012 7.82 17 8.54
2 30 March 2013 7.47 22 June 2013 7.95 15 7.45
3 11 January 2014 9.35 5 April 2014 7.15 15 8.10
4 10 January 2015 9.05 4 April 2015 6.87 15 8.55

Critical reception[edit]

BBC Radio 2's Paul Gambaccini told Radio Times that The Voice is "karaoke" and claimed that while the American series was "fantastic to rejuvenate the careers of two of the coaches, Christina Aguilera and Maroon 5's Adam Levine, it didn't give us a viable artist". Mark Goodier also questioned the motives of Universal Music saying, "Universal have to be doing this because they want market share." On whether The Voice is to become a "huge hit" in the UK, he added, "It really depends on whether they find a star or not."[88]

Music releases by The Voice contestants[edit]

As of June 2014, the Voice UK has had thirteen singles and four albums chart on the top 75 on the UK Singles and Albums Charts, including one number 1 from Series 1 semi-finalist Becky Hill .

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Result
2012 Glamour Awards Presenter (Holly Willoughby)[89] Won
TV Choice Awards Best Talent Show[90] Nominated
2013 National Television Awards Best Talent Show[91] Nominated
2014 National Television Awards Best Talent Show[92] Nominated
Glamour Awards Presenter (Emma Willis)[93] Won
2015 National Television Awards Best Talent Show Nominated
BAFTA Television Awards Entertainment Programme Nominated
Glamour Awards TV Personality (Rita Ora)[94] Won


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External links[edit]