Following months of speculation, the only original Voice UK coach will.i.am will be returning to his spinning chair.
ITV announced on Monday (4 July) the singer songwriter will reprise his role as a coach when the show debuts on ITV with its sixth series next year. In addition he will also fulfil the role on The Voice Kids. Will.i.am has been with The Voice UK since it launched in 2012.
“I’m delighted to be continuing The Voice UK on ITV and being a voice of direction and guidance for the usual suspects, and I’m thrilled to add The Voice Kids to the mix…I know The Voice switched to ITV, but I’m not going to BREXIT The Voice UK. I’m happy to make ITV my home now. I love the UK.” – will.i.am
ITV confirmed it had snapped up the rights to the talent show – previously held by the BBC – in a multi-million pound deal with makers Talpa late last year. The deal with ITV means for the first time a kids version of The Voice will air in the UK.
The Voice Kids has been a popular companion to the main show in many countries around the globe. Emma Willis, who is set to return as the host of The Voice UK, will also be the main host of The Voice Kids.
“Hosting The Voice Kids will be like being at my house on a Saturday night; lots of kids singing, with me trying to keep some kind of order. Thankfully, the musical genius that is will.i.am is there to bring some expertise to the table. It’s going to be pretty awesome.” – Host Emma Willis.
The first series of The Voice aired on BBC One in 2012 with coaches will.i.am, Sir Tom Jones, Jessie J and Danny O’Donoghue. The most recent series, the fifth, met with controversy after producers decided to eschew Sir Tom Jones in favour of Culture Club frontman Boy George. It ended in April with Kevin Simm crowned the winner.
Those wanting to apply for either The Voice UK or The Voice Kids still have time and should visit the show’s website for more details.
Winner of series five, Kevin Simm, alongside his coach Ricky Wilson