THE VOICE UK: OLLY MURS ANNOUNCED AS NEW COACH 38

Pop sensation Olly Murs is joining will.i.am, Sir Tom Jones and Jennifer Hudson to complete The Voice UK’s panel of superstar coaches as the search for a new vocal talent returns to ITV.

Olly – who has notched up four UK No.1 albums and four No.1 singles – will climb into his red chair for the first time this weekend when the Blind auditions kick off in Salford.

The Essex lad first found fame on fellow ITV talent show The X Factor, coming second in 2009, and has since gone on to sell more than 17 million records worldwide.

His most recent album 24 Hrs hit the No.1 spot last November while this year he has played two consecutive tours selling in excess of 600,000 tickets.

Olly said: “I’m absolutely buzzing about being a coach on The Voice UK and can’t wait to sit in the big red chair alongside will, Jennifer and Tom.

“I’m excited to mentor new artists and without doubt, I’m in it to WIN!”

Singer, songwriter, producer and entrepreneur will.i.am returns for his seventh series – the only coach to appear on The Voice UK since the very beginning.

Will – who also appeared as a coach on the first series of The Voice Kids on ITV in the summer – is one of the most successful artists in the world, notching up 39 top 40 entries and selling more than 12 million singles in the UK alone.

He has produced international artists including Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Cheryl and Nicki Minaj while his group The Black Eyed Peas have sold more than 76 million records globally and won seven Grammy Awards.

will.i.am said: “There was some amazing talent on The Voice Kids during the summer and now it’s time for the grown-ups auditioning for The Voice season 7 to really step up their game.

“I’m excited to sit alongside Jennifer and Tom again this year, and I know that Olly will add a fun new twist to this year’s coaches team.”

Legendary artist Sir Tom Jones has had huge success in a career spanning six decades, selling more than 100 million records and clocking up 36 Top 40 hits in the UK and 19 in the US.

The recipient of Brit Awards for Best Male and Outstanding Contribution to Music as well as a Grammy, Sir Tom’s music career started in 1965 with the worldwide hit It’s Not Unusual and continues with great critical and popular success to this day.

He was awarded an OBE in 1999 and received a Knighthood for services to music in 2006.

Sir Tom said: “I’m really looking forward to getting back into my big red chair alongside the other coaches for the next The Voice UK.

“I’m so proud of my discovery from last season, Into the Ark, so I’m excited to hear and see what undiscovered talent the UK has to offer this series.”

Grammy, Oscar and Bafta-winnng artist Jennifer Hudson returns after winning the 2017 series with her act Mo and fresh from her current stint as a coach on The Voice’s US version, the first time a coach has ever appeared on two different versions of the show at the same time.

The singer, movie star and Broadway actress first found fame after her breakout Academy Award-winning performance in Dreamgirls, which followed her finalist-run on American Idol. She went on to make her recording debut with her self-titled album, selling millions of copies worldwide and garnering her first Grammy Award.

Her subsequent albums, films and television roles kept her in the Billboard Top 10 and earned multiple awards and attention. Her Broadway debut in the 2015/2016 musical revival of The Color Purple garnered her another Grammy win.

Jennifer said: “I am so excited to be returning to The Voice UK alongside this talented group of coaches!

“I loved my time as a coach last season and was so proud of Team JHUD and our winner Mo Adeniran – it was an incredible journey. 

“The UK has always felt like a home away from home for me and I can’t wait to be back discovering new talent on season 7!”

Emma Willis again returns to present The Voice UK after completing hosting duties on The Voice Kids in the summer.

She said: “I love this time of year because, if I’m lucky enough to get invited back, it means I get to eavesdrop in on some of the most sensational singing talent that this country has to offer whilst hanging out with the megastar coaches.

“It’s an absolute treat to get to work on The Voice UK, I love every minute of it, and I can’t wait to get started.”

The show also welcomes back Jamie Miller, a finalist on the last series, as the new backstage reporter, bringing all the behind the scenes gossip to The Voice UK’s digital platforms.

Since appearing on the show, Jamie has signed a US recording deal with Atlantic Records, home of Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Bruno Mars.

He said: “I’m so excited to be back, but this time on the other side watching people achieve their dreams. The Voice UK was always something so close to my heart so to return as the backstage reporter is incredible!”

This year’s winner will again scoop a recording contract with music giants Polydor, home to global stars Take That and Ellie Goulding as well as the UK’s biggest breakthrough artists including The 1975 and Years & Years.

Siobhan Greene, Head of Entertainment, ITV, said: “It’s fantastic to finally reveal the coaching line up for the new series of The Voice UK; returning champion and THE voice Miss Jennifer Hudson, the legend that is Sir Tom Jones and the one and only will.i.am. 

“And this year we welcome Olly Murs, a pop star at the top of his game who I know will bring his incredible energy, charm and personality. The panel really has got it in bucket loads and I can’t wait to see what happens next.”

The new series of The Voice UK will air on ITV early next year. It is an ITV Studios production of a Talpa format.

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ITV CHRISTMAS & NEW YEAR HIGHLIGHTS 2017 REVEALED 14

A sleigh full of specials, across entertainment, drama, comedy and factual entertainment, will decorate the ITV schedule this Christmas, with an added festive helping of exciting free-to-air film premieres, with Jurassic World and Spectre coming to terrestrial television for the first time.

Chigwell’s favourite trio return to ITV with a feature length one-off Christmas special of Birds of a Feather. Pauline Quirke, Linda Robson and Lesley Joseph reprise their roles as Sharon, Tracey and Dorien in a new adventure for the ladies. (9pm Monday December 18th).

Then to the London Palladium, where Miranda Hart hosts an unforgettable evening of entertainment in the presence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Royal Variety Performance, where a wide range of internationally acclaimed acts and West End stars are brought together for one night only on a single stage.(7.30pm Tuesday December 19th).

The heroes behind the uniforms will be celebrated and honoured in this one off Christmas special on ITV, A Night For The Emergency Services. Presented by Ashley Banjo and Diversity, the show will feature talented members of the emergency services performing alongside special celebrity guests including Michael Ball and Alfie Boe, Leona Lewis and Tokio Myers. (9pm Wednesday December 20th).

Next ITV has a Christmas special with renowned chefs Gordon Ramsay and Gino D’Acampo alongside First Dates Maître D Fred Siriex, in which Gino and Gordon will lay on a spectacular banquet for the heroes of 2017. Working against the clock they’ll be assisted by a number of famous faces as the two teams compete to serve the most impressive festive menu. Charming Maître D Fred will not only be tasked with running the service but he’ll be wrangling the results from our deserving diners, whilst keeping the self assured Brit and the feisty Italian apart. Gordon, Gino and Fred’s Great Christmas Roast will be full of festive delight, celebrating great food and even greater Britons. (9pm Thursday December 21st).

The Pub Landlord is back this Christmas to host a one-off festive special with Al Murray’s Make Christmas Great Again where the country’s favourite landlord will be behind the bar for a festive lock-in, with a host of special guests, interviews and sketches, the ultimate public house party. (9pm Friday December 22nd).

On Christmas Eve afternoon ITV will be making a festive splash in Cannonball: Christmas Special, with Freddie Flintoff, Frankie Bridge, Radzi Chinyanganya, Ryan Hand and Maya Jama. (4pm Sunday December 24th). 

Also on Christmas Eve, Bradley Walsh hosts a very special edition of The Chase. It’s a Christmas Chase: Celebrity Special as all five chasers try to catch Coronation Street star Patti Clare, comedian Matt Richardson, presenter Kirsty Wark and singer Jimmy Osmond. (5.50pm Sunday December 24th).

Next on Christmas Eve (6.40pm Sunday December 24th), West End legend Michael Crawford will guide seven well known celebrities through an all singing, all dancing musical theatre extravaganza, in All Star Musicals. Hosted by Freddie Flintoff, All Star Musicals features a cast of famous faces who will each perform an iconic number from a hit musical at the legendary London Palladium.

At 8.30pm on Christmas Eve Rowan Atkinson is back in 1950’s Paris, investigating another case inMaigret in Montmartre.(8.30pm Sunday December 24th).

Christmas Day treats include 60 minute specials of Coronation Street (8pm) and Emmerdale (5.50pm), and Paul O’Grady will be back at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home on his Christmas mission to find new homes for more adorable four-legged friends, in Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs at Christmas.(7pm)

Jenna Coleman and Tom Hughes will be back, in a feature length festive special of ITV’s epic period drama, Victoria at 9pm on Christmas Day.

On Boxing Day, Ed Chamberlin hosts live racingaction from the Winter Festival at Kempton Park and the Yorkshire Christmas meeting at Wetherby. He is joined at Kempton Park for expert analysis by AP McCoy and Mick Fitzgerald, with reporters Oli Bell, Luke Harvey, and Rishi Persad, Matt Chapman with the latest betting news, and Richard Hoiles in the commentary box. 

On Boxing Day too, ITV will bring viewers the terrestrial TV premiere of Jurassic World (6.40pm Boxing Day).

On December 30th, viewers are invited to Guess The Star as Jonathan Ross hosts a brand new one-off game show where five well-known stars are completely transformed into their favourite musical icon for a performance. The programme pits three celebrity teams against each other to try and deduce who the disguised stars are, in the shortest time possible. (7pm Saturday December 30th)

On New Year’s Eve, ITV cordially invite you to A Right Royal Quiz (3.30pm Sunday December 31st), Britain’s first ever panel show about the Royal Family and a celebratory and affectionate look at the Royals and the country’s obsession with them. Hosted by Fern Britton, two Royal-loving celebrity teams battle it out to win the prize, the ‘Crown of Right Royalness’. There will also be new Cannonball: Splash Hits (6.50pm Sunday December 31st).

On New Year’s Day Ed Chamberlin kick offs the New Year with the ITV Racing team live at Cheltenham for four races from the home of the National Hunt and two races from Musselburgh. Ed is joined for expert analysis at Cheltenham by Mick FitzGerald and Luke Harvey, with reporting from Rishi Persad and Alice Plunkett, commentary from Richard Hoiles and Sally Ann Grassick reporting from Musselburgh.

New Year’s Day also marks the free-to-air premiere that evening of the latest Bond film, Spectre (8pm January 1st).

Films across the Christmas holiday period on ITV include seasonal treats The Holiday, Santa Claus The Movie, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Jack Frost, plus family favourites Despicable Me, and Despicable Me 2, the Harry Potter and Hobbit films, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Mr Bean’s Holiday and Babe.

X FACTOR 2017: VOTING STATS REVEALED 19

What a series! Rak-Su may have been crowned your 2017 X Factor winner, but have they always come out on top?

Check out this year’s voting stats below…

Week 1 Saturday
Grace Davies – 21.9%
Holly Tandy – 15.9%
Lloyd Macey – 15.0%
Alisah Bonaobra – 11.8%
Rai-Elle Williams – 11.5%
Leon Mallett – 9.3%
Sam Black – 8.5%
Spencer Sutherland – 6.1%

Week 1 Sunday
Rak-Su – 22.2%
The Cutkelvins – 17.3%
Matt Linnen – 11.9%
Kevin Davy White – 11.1%
Sean & Conor Price – 10.6%
Tracyleanne Jefford – 10.3%
Jack & Joel – 9.2%
Talia Dean – 7.4%

Prize Fight Week 1
Grace Davies – 53.5%
Rak-Su – 46.5%

Week 2 Saturday
Rak-Su – 32.3%
The Cutkelvins – 15.1%
Lloyd Macey – 14.4%
Sam Black – 12.5%
Sean & Conor Price – 10.6%
Jack & Joel – 8.6%
Leon Mallett – 6.5%

Week 2 Sunday
Kevin Davy White – 21.9%
Grace Davies – 18.5%
Holly Tandy – 15.4%
Rai-Elle Williams – 14.3%
Matt Linnen – 13.6%
Alisah Bonaobra – 9.5%
Tracyleanne Jefford – 6.8%

Prize Fight Week 2
Kevin Davy White – 53.6%
Rak-Su – 46.4%

Week 3 Saturday
Kevin Davy White – 25.8%
Rak-Su – 25.7%
Matt Linnen – 14.1%
The Cutkelvins – 13.5%
Sean & Conor Price – 11.2%
Jack & Joel – 9.7%

Week 3 Sunday
Lloyd Macey – 26.4%
Grace Davies – 20.1%
Holly Tandy – 19.7%
Rai-Elle Williams – 14.4%
Sam Black – 11.1%
Alisah Bonaobra – 8.3%

Prize Fight Week 3
Lloyd Macey – 64.3%
Kevin Davy White – 35.7%

Week 4 Saturday
Rak-Su – 36.7%
Lloyd Macey – 22.8%
The Cutkelvins – 18.9%
Sean & Conor Price – 15.4%
Sam Black – 6.2%

Week 4 Sunday
Grace Davies – 26.1%
Matt Linnen – 22.5%
Kevin Davy White – 21.4%
Holly Tandy – 16.1%
Rai-Elle Williams – 13.9%

Prize Fight Week 4
Rak-Su – 61.5%
Grace Davies – 38.5%

Week 5 Saturday
Rak-Su – 26.1%
Kevin Davy White – 19.5%
Lloyd Macey – 19.2%
Grace Davies – 17.2%
The Cutkelvins – 10.1%
Matt Linnen – 7.9%

Week 5 Sunday
Rak-Su – 27.3%
Grace Davies – 26.0%
Kevin Davy White – 18.9%
Lloyd Macey – 18.2%
The Cutkelvins – 9.6%

Week 6 Freeze
Rak-Su – 41.7%
Grace Davies – 35.4%
Kevin Davy White – 22.9%

Week 6 Final
Rak-Su – 51.7%
Grace Davies – 40.1%
Kevin Davy White – 8.2% (Left competition at freeze)