BBC1 to air “The Voice”

The Beeb beat out ITV for the UK version of the smash John de Mol format, to be coproduced by Talpa Media and Wall to Wall.
June 17, 2011

The battle between the BBC and ITV for the UK version of the smash singing competition The Voice has been decided, with BBC1 the victor.

BBC1 controller Danny Cohen made the announcement today, ending speculation over whether the series, one of the year’s biggest hits in the U.S., would be headed to the network home of rival series The X Factor, or if it would beat a path to the Beeb.

“I’m absolutely delighted that The Voice will be coming to the BBC,” said Cohen. “It’s a big, exciting and warm-hearted series and will be a fantastic Saturday night event on BBC One.”

The Voice stands for a new generation in its genre and I’m delighted that in the UK it has been picked up by the BBC who really share my passion and belief in the show,” added the show’s creator John de Mol.

The UK version of the series, set to debut next year, will be coproduced by Talpa Media and Shed Media-owned Wall to Wall, and will be overseen by Wall to Wall creative director Leanne Klein.

The format differs from other singing competition series with its “blind audition” element, in which competing vocalists are judged purely on their singing abilities. The contestants are then mentored in teams by the celebrity judges, all of whom have to be “famous musicians” according to the format’s structure. Contestants are whittled down over the course of the show until the last one singing is heralded as “The Voice,” and awarded a major label recording contract.

Though no judges have yet been chosen for the UK version, a couple of names being bandied about by the British press include former X Factor UK judge Cheryl Cole (recently jettisoned from the jury of the upcoming U.S. version of the show) and George Michael. The U.S. version of the show is currently airing on NBC.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.