Take That star seeks five men to star in musical about his former band — and next time he wants to find a girl group
NEW BBC prime-time show Let It Shine kicks off on Saturday – and creator GARY BARLOW is so sure of it, he is already planning a second series.
And next year he plans to tweak the format to find a girl band.
Gary said: “I’ve been thinking, at this point, ‘I hope we get a stage for girls, too’.
“What that device will be I have no idea, but it will definitely be focused around bands again.
“The underlying message for this show is that I think teenagers can often live a very solitary existence with their phones and games and I think what this show and the interaction between the groups is doing is teaching people to work as a team.”
Gary will launch his musical, The Band, next year after finding the talent on Let It Shine. The musical will be an original story about a boy band set to Take That’s music.
The idea was first conceived about 18 months ago, before TV bosses were involved.
Former X Factor judge Gary met BBC reps a year ago.
He explained: “They were looking for new shows. They said I’d not been on TV for three years since The X Factor.
“They were saying, ‘Would you like to be on TV? Would you like to be part of an existing show or do something new?’ So we started developing it.”
The winners will tour with the musical, but Gary’s aim is to get it to London’s West End.
He said: “That’s the goal. The West End is one of the most brutal stages to be on because it’s the centre of the world for theatre.”
DANNII Minogue says Let It Shine is nothing like her old home on the X Factor.
She said: “There’s happiness, brightness, sparkle, fun, good vibes, positivity . . . the title says it all.
“Gary has worked in the business for a long time. He has such a great bunch of professionals that he’s bringing together.”
GARY can add host Mel Giedroyc to his list of female fans – but he is not the sole focus of her desires.
She said: “Barlow is sensational – it’s a joy for a perimenopausal woman.
“One musn’t favouritise but it’s a joy to have Kempo in the mix, having been a big fan of Spandau Ballet all my life. It’s very exciting. I couldn’t look him in the eye when I first met him – I just looked at his chest, which was worse.
“It will be so dangerous when we go live. No eye contact, no looking, we’re pre-watershed.”
Her fellow host Graham Norton said: “Working with Mel is quite scary because it’s too much fun and you forget you’re on telly.”
Those two are going to make a great double act.
JASON ORANGE is the only original Take That member yet to get involved in Let It Shine.
Gary said: “Mark and Howard are almost our spies backstage.
“They’re hanging around, they’re chatting with [the contestants] . . . they’re obviously doing it for a TV purpose as well.
“It’s really nice because they’re getting the natural stuff first before they come out and see the audience and us, but obviously it’s their catalogue as well.
“We’re all part of this and we want it to be amazing.”
ason quit Take That in 2014, nine years after the band re-formed as a four-piece.
But I recently revealed how Robbie is planning to return to the studio to record new music with the group.
One person particularly pleased about his involvement is Dannii Minogue, who said: “I did like the cheekiness of Robbie because we would be hanging out backstage at Top of the Pops or at concerts and stuff and he’s bit of a rascal. I like that.”
A grumpy Gary conceded: “She prefers Robbie, bring him back.”
It won’t be long before he is.
LET It Shine judge Martin Kemp has backed up my exclusive that he has had talks about creating a SPANDAU BALLET musical.
He is keen to do a stage show featuring his band’s hits after helping Gary Barlow to find the stars for his Take That musical.
He confirmed: “We have a huge catalogue of songs.
“So yeah, I think we would do it – it’s something that we have all spoken about a few times.
“But actually getting the ball rolling is a different thing because my band will get on for periods of time when we’re away and then we land at Heathrow, pick up our bags off the conveyor belt and then we fall out.”