34-year-old Daniel Boys – already known to television audiences after appearing on BBC One talent series Any Dream Will Do in 2007 – is to represent the UK, for Channel 5, in their Neighbours: Remixed Competition which pits the Brits against the Aussies in a search for a new vocalist to record a revamped version of the iconic theme tune.
Daniel from Yateley, Hampshire is a professional actor and singer, following his stint on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s talent series which went in search of a Joseph for the musical about an amazing dream coat. Lee Mead went on to win that particular television treat.
The British public were asked to pick the winning UK representative from five finalists and they chose Daniel who won with 37% of the overall vote. He will now fly to Melbourne, Australia and face a head-to-head sing-off with Stephanie Angelini the Aussie winning representative. The overall winner’s vocals will be heard on episodes of Neighbours in the UK, New Zealand and Australia later this month.
“Channel 5 viewers heard each UK finalist’s entry played over Neighbours’ current opening title sequence during the week of 18th March. Once all 5 had been broadcast, the public were invited to vote for their favourite singer in an online poll.” – Channel 5
The original singer of the Neighbours theme song – Barry Crocker – will be one of the judges to pick the overall winner. He joins Neighbours Executive Producer, Richard Jasek and Chris Pettifer, the soap’s musical director and screen composer as one of the three judges who will decide between the two finalists.
Barry sang the theme song, written by Crossroads and Emmerdale theme composer Tony Hatch, from the beginning of the series in 1985 until 1992. Neighbours was devised by Reg Watson, who made his television name in soap opera with ATV and Crossroads back in the sixties, said of Barry and the theme tune:
“As soon as I heard Tony [Hatch] play Barry’s version to me I knew that it was perfect.” Watson added that he’d personally never have ditched the original theme, noting, “I wouldn’t have changed it.”
Since Barry’s was dropped several versions have since appeared, now Daniel will be hoping his is the next to go into the soaps production history.
“I’m thrilled to have won the British vote” Daniel said, adding, “and am so looking forward to going ‘down under’ and representing the UK in the next stage of the competition. I will, of course, give it my best shot and hopefully come back the winner! I grew up watching Neighbours and am still a fan today, so the thought of millions of people hearing me singing the famous theme song every time they tune into it is so surreal, but very exciting!”
In its 28 year history, the show has launched successful singing careers for some of its own stars – Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Holly Valance, Delta Goodrem and Natalie Imbruglia. Over seven million UK viewers tune in to Neighbours each month – there was a time when it got more than that a night back in the 80s on BBC One.
Greg Barnett, Channel 5’s Commissioning Editor for Entertainment, Daytime and Soaps said: “The contest has been enormous fun for our viewers and I couldn’t be more thrilled at having such a strong contender in Daniel to take on the Aussies in the final showdown. He beat a very strong field and I’ve got every confidence that British Public have picked a winner.”
Neighbours airs on Channel 5 at 1.45pm and 5.30pm