Belfast Telegraph

Malone behind charity choir single

Gareth Malone has assembled a celebrity choir including Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood and comic Jo Brand to create this year's BBC Children In Need single.

Choirmaster Malone began rehearsals with his choir - which also includes The Great British Bake Off host Mel Giedroyc and Countryfile host John Craven - yesterday and their recording efforts will also be part of a two-part TV documentary.

The choice of song is yet to be announced but Malone's All-Star Choir follows acts such as Ellie Goulding, Girls Aloud and JLS in releasing the annual charity single.

Actress Alison Steadman and her screen husband from sitcom Gavin & Stacey, Larry Lamb, also feature along with Blue Peter's Radzi Chinyanganya and former footballer Fabrice Muamba.

Malone, who has topped the singles chart with his Military Wives choir, said: "It's daunting to think of the list of artists who have sung for Children In Need in the past - now it's our turn.

"The task is enormous - none of these celebrities is known for their singing, but we are all coming together in support of a hugely important cause; it's time to put celebrity egos to the side and sing with one voice in the choir.

"I'm indebted to the generosity and bravery of these non-singing celebs who are putting their mouth where the money is to help raise funds for CiN. I hope that the nation gets behind our attempt at the coveted number one spot."

The charity's single last topped the charts in 2010 with JLS's Love You More.

The ensemble's progress will feature in two hour-long programmes called Gareth Malone's All-Star Choir, being made by production firm Twenty Twenty for BBC1.

Completing the choir will be EastEnders actor Nitin Ginatra, women's rugby star Margaret "The Machine" Alphonsi and Radio 1 DJ Alice Levine.

Sir Terry Wogan, life president of BBC Children In Need, said "I have no doubt Gareth will work his magic on this bunch of unlikely singers and I am looking forward to hearing the final result which will be this year's official single."

Revel Horwood, who returns to TV when Strictly launches tomorrow on BBC1, said: "Putting my voice on this year's Official BBC Children In Need single is rather daunting and quite a step change from dancing, but I am sure Mr Malone will teach us well."

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