Episode 1

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The Choir, Unsung Town Episode 1 of 4

Duration: 1 hour

Gareth Malone, the charismatic choirmaster from the Bafta-winning series The Choir, is back and about to face his biggest challenge yet. He makes it his mission to turn South Oxhey, a sprawling housing estate just outside Watford, into a centre of choral excellence by drawing in people from every section of the community, from children to OAPs, and creating one vast choir. The final goal is to put on a major performance in South Oxhey, and invite the whole estate to the party.

In September 2008, Gareth heads to South Oxhey for the very first time. He finds a divided community struggling to shake off a poor reputation that stretches back decades. As Gareth talks to local people, most agree that the area is in desperate need of a boost, but few think that a choir is the answer. Undeterred, Gareth scours every inch of South Oxhey looking for recruits for his choir. At the town's boxing club, Gareth meets Matty Leonard, a well-known local figure and a passionate defender of the estate. Although Matty has his doubts about Gareth's chances of success, the pair strike a deal - Matty will give the choir a go but only if Gareth agrees to meet him in the ring first.

Slowly but surely, Gareth's persistence begins to pay off and when the date of the first rehearsal comes around, everyone is astounded by the turnout. Gareth is delighted that the community have responded to his call but finds himself faced with an unexpected challenge. He has never dealt with a choir this large before and he is not sure he is going to be able to cope!

Last on

Mon 11 Jan 2010 02:45 BBC One except Scotland

See all previous episodes from The Choir

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  • Photo: The choirmaster

    Photo: The choirmaster

    Choirmaster Gareth Malone pictured in South Oxhey.

  • Photo: The massed choir

    Photo: The massed choir

    Gareth Malone surrounded by The South Oxhey Community Choir. But can he make them into superb singers?


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