Belfast Telegraph

Voice's Tim afraid of knock back

A contestant on The Voice with connections to a trio of EastEnders' favourites has admitted he has had so many knock backs in his career that he didn't tell friends or family he was even auditioning.

Tim Arnold, 39, is the son of Polly Perkins, who played Rose Cotton in the BBC soap, the partner of Jessie Wallace, who plays Kat Moon, and counts June Brown (Dot Cotton) as a close family friend.

But after having been dropped from a record label at just 22, on the day his then-band Jocasta's album came out, and recording 14 albums on his own without the help of a label since then, Tim said he was too worried about more disappointment to tell people he was taking part in the BBC singing contest.

He explained: "I didn't tell anybody. I chose not to tell any of my nearest and dearest because I'd had let down after let down in my career. Back in 2003, the guitarist from Limp Bizkit called because he wanted me to be the front man in his new band and I was preparing to go and live in LA. But after six months the band broke up - I'd sung and done demos with them and everything.

"You get used to it, so I didn't want to call everyone up and tell them I was doing The Voice because I've grown up with actors around me, and even when you get a part, sometimes you get cut out. Even after the audition I still didn't tell anyone, because I thought I might not be on television.

"My nearest and dearest - June Brown, Jessie Wallace - they're all actors who, although successful, they know what it's like not to get a part. So they understood why I didn't tell them or anyone else."

Tim, who has worked with Gary Kemp, performed on stage with Benedict Cumberbatch and written music for an upcoming Iggy Pop film, added: "I want to be judged on my own merit, not because I'm associated with famous people. June and my mum, they carved out their careers on their own merit and I've got to be the same."

Talking about the experience of being dropped and a dark period of drug addiction afterwards, Tim said: "When you sign a worldwide record deal with a major label when you're 19, it happens because there's something good about what you do.

"So when they drop you, you start to question, 'Am I any good?' When you're 22, that's quite a dramatic thing to happen. You start to believe what the record company believe, that you're not worth anything. It took me six or seven years to find my confidence again."

He added: "I will always be grateful to The Voice for giving me that confidence again."

The Voice's blind auditions involve contestants performing to the backs of the judges' chairs hoping that they will turn around to face the stage if they like what they hear, but Tim said he didn't find the set up a strange experience.

He said: "I've had so many people in the music industry turn their backs on me and my music. If you can take people turning their backs on you for 20 years, you can handle it in front of four amazing coaches like that."

Viewers can see whether Tim makes it through his blind audition on tonight's (January 31) episode of The Voice on BBC One at 7pm.

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