Entertainment & Arts

Let It Shine: Martin Kemp and Dannii Minogue to judge Take That talent show

Martin Kemp and Danni Minogue Image copyright Shirlie Kemp/Troyt Coburn
Image caption Kemp and Minogue both have well-known siblings and have both appeared in soaps

Martin Kemp and Dannii Minogue are to join Gary Barlow as judges on BBC One's Take That talent search Let It Shine.

Kemp, an actor and Spandau Ballet's bassist, will be a permanent judge, as will the Australian actress and singer.

Amber Riley, best known for her role as Mercedes Jones in Glee, will be a judge in the first stage of the competition.

Co-presented by Graham Norton and Mel Giedroyc, Let It Shine will search for a band to take part in a stage show featuring the music of Take That.

Barlow said Kemp, Minogue and Riley would "bring so much to this panel with the breadth of experience in music, acting, stage and TV".

Kemp said he was "thrilled" to have a chance "to pass on a little of my 45 years' worth of experience... to young people just starting out on their journey".

"I won't just be judging, but trying to give a constructive thought that will help them towards winning that incredible final prize," added the former EastEnders star.

Image copyright PA/BBC
Image caption Mel Giedroyc and Graham Norton will co-host the show

Minogue said: "I'm so excited to be returning to the UK and joining the judging panel of Let It Shine.

"To be a performer, you must have a burning desire to perform, then you train at all the skills you need to shine. This show gives everyone that chance."

Kemp began his career, alongside brother Gary, in the new romantic band Spandau Ballet before turning his hand to acting and presenting.

He played Steve Owen in EastEnders from 1998 to 2002 and directed the 2014 crime thriller Top Dog.

Minogue, who also has a well-known sibling in sister Kylie, started out playing Emma Jackson in Australian soap opera Home and Away.

She went on to have a successful pop career before becoming a judge on The X Factor and Australia's Got Talent.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Amber Riley starred in NBC's The Wiz Live! last year

Riley appeared in more than 100 episodes of Glee, which followed the fortunes of a high school performing troupe.

The 30-year-old has since been seen in The Wiz Live!, a TV version of the Wizard of Oz-inspired musical that aired live on NBC in 2015.

"I am so excited to see what the UK talent has to offer and share some of my experience on the stage to help them reach their full potential," she said in a statement.

"I'm not just looking for the biggest voices or the biggest personalities, but those who have what it takes to make it on TV and on stage."

X Factor judges' houses

Let It Shine begins its eight-week run on BBC One in the New Year.

In other talent show news, it has been reported that former Take That member Robbie Williams will take part in the judges' houses section of this year's X Factor.

Former Spice Girl Mel B, pop star and talent show judge Alesha Dixon and chart-topping DJ Calvin Harris have also been recruited by the ITV show, according to The Sun.

A spokesperson for X Factor production company Talkback Thames said the report was speculative.


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