The Choir



Gareth Malone


competition formats only

The Choir: Sing While You Work, Twenty Twenty for BBC Two, 20 September 2012 to 22 December 2013 (14 episodes in 2 series)

The Naked Choir, Twenty Twenty for BBC Two, 22 September to 27 October 2015 (6 episodes in 1 series)

The Choir: Gareth's Best in Britain, Twenty Twenty for BBC Two, 1 November to 6 December 2016 (6 episodes in 1 series)


Since 2006, Gareth Malone has made a number of television series. All of them have a similar outline. Gareth finds a group of people who are already linked (pupils in the same school, live in the same place, wives of soldiers) and trains them to sing in a choir together. Troubles are overcome, happiness and harmony ensues.

While many of these series were fly-on-the-wall documentaries, some featured a competition element.

For Sing While You Work (2012-13), Gareth went round various workplaces, and made choirs in the usual observational documentary way. The novelty: the choirs sung for a prize at the end.

The Naked Choir (2015) was a contest for a capella singing groups, and eliminated one of its choirs each week.

Gareth's Best in Britain (2016) followed a similar elimination format, and was open to all sorts of vocal traditions.

Gareth Malone

Music critics note how Malone doesn't promote refined singing, but uses his choirs as a way to make people interact. Television critics report the shows can be saccharine and formulaic. Ratings agencies tell us that a lot of people love his work.


2012: Severn Trent Water
2013: P&O Ferries
2015: Sons of Pitches
2016: Semi-Toned


Not to be confused with Radio 3's weekly show The Choir, which occasionally has heats for Let the Peoples Sing.

Web links

BBC programme pages:
Sing While You Work
The Naked Choir
Gareth's Best in Britain


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