Pitch Battle

Brand new Saturday night music entertainment show searches for Britain’s best singing group

Gareth Malone

It’s a Saturday night show and you have to give your whole self. You have got to know the track inside and out and you have to deliver a great performance to the audience and judges. Music is passion.Gareth Malone
Date: 12.06.2017     Last updated: 12.06.2017 at 00.01
Gareth Malone is the UK’s favourite choirmaster and has transformed the likes of military wives and NHS workers; taking unlikely groups of people and bonding them through music.

Thanks to his passionate work, Gareth has galvanized the British choral scene and brought choirs back into contemporary conversation.

Gareth was awarded an OBE in 2012 for his services to music and is a BAFTA and International Emmy Award Winner with two No.1 singles in the UK under his belt.

This is your first Saturday night entertainment show. What are you most looking forward to?

It is completely different for me but having encouraged a lot of people to join choirs and groups over the years, Pitch Battle seems the most logical progression. It’s really exciting and this show is all about vocal talent. To have Deke Sharon on board, too, is an amazing coup. What is so great about this series is the fact it is all about their voices. It is really great for me to be able to talk about their performances and give advice.

What kind of judge will you be?

All I can do is give my opinions. If a group moves me because they have got lots of heart, I will be the soft judge and say “you really moved me and it was out of tune but it moved me”, but if it didn’t move me, then I will be the technical person saying “that’s not good enough”.

Are you going to be nasty?

No. I think it is mean when people who aren’t musicians start laying into people about song choices. You don’t walk into a music career suddenly overnight as it does take dedication and lots of feedback. But I don’t want to shatter people’s dreams. I want to inspire the audience. I am going to be honest.

What advice would you give to the groups performing?

It’s a Saturday night show and you have to give your whole self. You have got to know the track inside and out and you have to deliver a great performance to the audience and judges. Music is passion.

Can you see the hunger in the contestants?

They are great and I can definitely see the hunger. They have got the best vocal coaches helping them and the atmosphere is amazing. I really do think they will all go on a huge journey taking part on this show.

A cappella is massive in the States. Do you hope this show will inspire the viewers watching it to form a group?

The misconception about this show is that it is entirely A cappella. But actually we have got country, gospel, musical theatre and choirs also taking part. It is not just a load of people from the Pitch Perfect movie as that would be a bit twee!

How are you getting on with your fellow judges?

They are really great! Mel is great, too, and we have worked together before. Mel has all that experience of putting people at ease. Her warmth is central to that. Kelis is fantastic. I predict the public are going to love her. I hope people will watch our show and think it is so much fun.

Why is Pitch Battle different to other shows?

It’s a celebration of music in a way that other shows aren’t. There is no other show where the guest judge gets up at the end and reveals which group has got to the final by singing a line of their song and walking over to them.

And finally, what else are you working on?

I am living and breathing Pitch Battle at the moment! I am on tour in the autumn. What I do now is music on TV or the stage. It’s absolutely ideal!