Chairman Gareth Malone, who will be on Celebrity Bake Off tonight, first rose to fame 15 years ago by introducing many of us to a new kind of music.
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It has been 15 years since Gareth Malone was first sung in a choir by the whole country.
Having run the youth and community choir for the London Symphony Orchestra, Gareth was approached by a television production company to make a series about school singing.
They already knew who was going to be their leader so just searched the net for “community president” and found Gareth online.
From there, the BAFTA-winning series The Choir was born – with the first series airing in December 2006 and most recently in 2016.
Gareth has been responsible for rendering most people incapable of singing in places where it is not a common activity.
He started by forming a school choir from scratch and sending them to compete in the 2006 World Choir Games in just nine months, then he addressed the perception that “boys don’t sing” in series 2.
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Followed by Unsung Town, where Gareth breaks down misconceptions to bring the working class community of South Oxhey, Watford to a choir festival.
He has also voiced the all-women choir in Military Wives and performed a number of charity specials, including the celebrity chef choir for Comic Relief.
The Military Wives, formed from partner of military personnel deployed to Afghanistan, managed to beat the X Factor winner Little Mix for #1 at Christmas in 2011.
Their song Wherever You Are was the highest-grossing song and Simon Cowell was forced to admit defeat in the race to the top.
“It felt good. It was really good. But, to his credit, he said he bought two copies,” Gareth told The Metro at the time.
“If you’re about to be beaten at Christmas #1 by something, beat by a charity single sung by a group of married women doing great things for our country, it’s hard to argue with that, even if you’re Simon Cowell.”
When asked if people in the classical music world consider him a bestseller, he replied: “Well, that’s a good question. I’m sure there are some among them. they don’t know that it’s not them, but really, most of the conductors and musicians I know are great and they realize that I’m just trying to gain a greater appreciation for the music. “
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But all has not worked out as his 2017 BBC series, Pitch Battle, was supposed to be the new X Factor but went haywire after just one series.
Away from the world of showbiz, Gareth is married to English teacher Becky and they have three children aged 11, 9, and 3.
Gareth has previously confessed that he has been teased since he was in school but is not worried about prejudice.
“Masculine issues also come up in this series,” he told The Mirror in 2012. “You’re asking guys to do something that doesn’t fit the ‘manly’ stereotype.
“Sometimes the sound can be a little loud. But when you’re physically fit, young men have a really outstanding sound about it. And women love it!
“The Severn Trent Choir has great bass with a wonderfully powerful noise that makes women jelly.
“I always tell guys, ‘If you want to meet women, go and join a choir.
“It worked for me. As a teenager, it was a surefire way to meet women. I could tell you some stories… But I won’t.”
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Currently, Gareth is participating in The Great Celebrity Bake off for Stand Up To Cancer.
The host will be hoping he shows up with a Star Baker apron – but in his way are YouTube star Yung Filly, Love Island host Laura Whitmore and American showrunner Ruby Wax.
In the six weeks since signing up and filming in the famous white tent, Gareth has spent a lot of time honing his baking skills.
“I train like a madman. I wake up at 6:30 every morning to make short pastries,” he told The Mail.
“I went in to win? Oh yeah. I’m very competitive. It’s beneficial to do anything if you don’t try? Even if you finish last, you want the competition to be good.”
* The Great Celebrity Bake Off airs tonight on Channel 4 at 8pm
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https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/gareth-malones-life-after-choir-26586346 Gareth Malone's life after The Choir - hit the new show and beat Simon Cowell