The Version Interview.... Boy George on The Voice UK.

The highest rated singing TV show of 2015, The Voice UK is back, with Boy George, Paloma Faith, will.i.am and Ricky Wilson.

International superstars Boy George and Paloma Faith join returning coaches will.i.am and Ricky Wilson for the fifth series of The Voice UK on BBC One.

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What attracted you to The Voice UK?
I love singers. It’s an area that I feel I have expertise in and I’m passionate about. Actually, the thing that’s surprised me the most about the show is the fact that it’s very organic and you do get to say what you want to say, you do get to be heard and see the effect of the advice you give. It’s very interesting.

Were you a fan of the show before you joined?
It’s a great show. I’ve watched it for years and even had exchanges with the people who run the show’s Twitter account. I’m opinionated when it comes to this show. Some people may think you’re too cool to be doing a reality show like this, what do you say to that? I suppose that’s a compliment but being cool doesn’t pay the bills! I always felt like I should be on one of these types of shows. I’m a singer, it’s what I have been doing for 30 years, it makes sense, so I always wondered why I hadn’t got the call to do it earlier. I see people getting the job and I’m thinking, I’ve got more experience than you. For me it’s like a duck to water.

Did you have an idea of who you were looking for when you started the show?
I’m a very emotional performer and that’s what I am looking for in my team. There’s no accident to who you get. It’s so interesting to see who ends up on your team. Even the people you get because you’re the only person who turns, when you put them with the rest of the team it makes total sense.

Is it hard because you can’t see them?
It’s so weird sitting in that chair because you think to yourself that you will know what’s what as soon as I hear the first note, but you don’t. Sometimes you turn for people and you see them and think you would have turned for them if you had been able to see them. Often I couldn’t make a connection between what was coming out of their mouth and how they looked. It’s naive to think that the way someone looks doesn’t matter, it makes a big difference. Hearing the voice is the beginning of an adventure.

How have you found working with Paloma Faith?
I’ve been impressed by some of the song choices Paloma made in the Battle rounds. I would take my hat off to her but my hair is messy! She’s shown herself to be really musical, that’s really cool. You learn stuff about people doing this show. When you come onto a show like this it’s like taking friends who don’t know each other that well on holiday together. You find out all their character flaws!

How much do you want to win?
Oh, I want to win more than life! I chant every day to make sure I win! But if someone great wins and they are not on my team then I will be equally happy. There are a couple of other people who are not on my team and I think if they won then I wouldn’t be upset. I’ll be magnanimous in the sense that, you know, if it’s right and proper that someone else should win then I’ll feel that. But this is my first time so I have no idea what’s going to happen, it’s fascinating. I watch these type of shows and when the winner is announced I go, Really? OK - and think how you wouldn’t have turned for that person. But then when you are in it it’s a whole different thing, because you don’t necessarily choose someone in the battles because they sang better, which is bonkers because it’s The Voice. There’s no hard and fast rules with show, it’s all up in the air.

How fabulous are your outfits going to be for the shows?
Obviously I love dressing up and one of the good things about doing this show is that you get to dress up! That’s one of the things me and Paloma have in common, we love dressing up! My hats are getting bigger and bigger throughout the show. I just can’t help myself, I’m always looking for things other people don’t have.

The Voice UK starts Saturday 9 January on BBC One. 

The Version