Naomi Wilkinson (2013)
Voiceover: Alan Dedicoat
BBC Scotland for BBC One and CBBC, 14 to 18 March 2011 (5 episodes in 1 series)
BBC Scotland for CBBC, 12 March 2012 to 21 March 2014 (30 episodes in 3 series; selected episodes simulcast on BBC One)
Sam and Mark host as 18 groups battle it out in a search for the UK's best performance group. Yes, it had been done before, and to audiences measured in the hundreds of thousands, but there's always something uplifting about these performances.
The first series, in 2011, displaced The Weakest Link from its 5.15 slot for a week. Auditions on Monday reduced the eighteen groups to nine. The rest of the week had three groups, each giving one performance, before the phone lines opened. This filled about twenty minutes of programme, so there was behind-the-scenes footage and films of projects funded by Comic Relief, before the result was delivered.
The series was sufficiently successful to come back in 2012, and featured an enlarged role for judges Davidandcarrie Grant and Sisco Gomez. Now expanded to 24 choirs, the audition stage on the CBBC channel reduced these to five groups, by giving marks out of 90 for three performances. The highest scoring choirs returned for live performances on BBC1.
A similar format was used in 2013, though other commitments meant that new host Naomi Wilkinson and new judge John Modi were alone for two episodes of regional heats. David, Carrie, and Sisco returned for a further audition episode featuring some marginal performers from the earlier heats. All appeared in the audition stage, winnowing 15 groups to 5 for the final shows, again simulcast on BBC1. 2014's series had just two semi-finals, the judges picked their preferred runner-up to go to (and ultimately win) the live final.
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