ENTERTAINMENT
24/01/2018 12:02 GMT | Updated 24/01/2018 12:56 GMT

‘All Together Now’ Stars Geri Horner And Rob Beckett Tell Us Why We Should Watch The BBC’s Latest Talent Show

“It isn’t a singing show.”

Geri Horner might have been a judge on ‘Popstars: The Rivals’ and ‘The X Factor’ in the past, but from the off she’s quick to distance the BBC’s latest Saturday night primetime offering from other singing competitions, when we meet in central London to discuss her latest foray into TV.

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Rob Beckett and Geri Horner

‘All Together Now’ is billed as a ‘competition with a twist’. For a start off there’s no recording contract at the end of the six-week run, but the winner will receive £50,000.

There’s also no traditional judging panel. Instead, each of the warbling wannabes will sing in front of ‘The 100’, headed up by the artist formerly known as Ginger Spice. Geri will be joined by 99 other singers and performers from all walks of life - cabaret stars, vocal coaches, drag queens, rappers - who, if they like what they hear, stand up and join in by singing along. The more who stand-up, the more chance the contestants will have of making it through to the next stage.

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The 100 (well, some of them).

Yes, it sounds cheesy as hell (it is), but, it’s a refreshingly different take on the format, with no Dermot O’Leary or Emma Willis types anywhere to be seen. Wisely, the BBC have installed stand-up comedian Rob Beckett on presenting duties, who brings a completely fresh and honest approach to proceedings, and (crucially), lots and lots of laughs too.

We caught up with Rob and Geri, and got them to tell us why you should tune in...

It’s definitely NOT a singing show, ok?

Geri: “I think it’s a people show. It’s stripped back and the antithesis of what everything is right now. It’s who we are. We live in an airbrushed world and I think what’s happened is that we’ve put our fingers to the wind and really felt what the public are thinking. We just want honesty and a bit of a laugh. It’s not a serious talent show. This is about people coming together, enjoying music, seeing who’s the best and we want to join in with you. That’s it.”

Or to put it another way...

Rob: “It’s almost like a comedy show and a reality show because you get all these opinions like ‘Gogglebox’.”

It’s nothing like ‘The X Factor’...

Geri: “The audience at home have got smarter, we don’t want to be manipulated. We want honesty. We don’t want cruel, but we want honesty and fun, and that’s what it is.”

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It has kindness at its heart...

Geri: “There’s so much conflict in the world and it’s been so divisive that we need to be reminded as a nation that we all still like each other and we can come together. We’re using music in a very fun way.”

It’s diverse...

Geri: “If you look at The 100, you cannot pin it down to who we are, and that is what Britain is. All colours of the rainbow, all classes, all ages. I’m sitting next to a reverend and a rapper!”

No one’s on it to find fame...

Rob: “What I like about The 100 is that they are people who are quite happy to just come on and not with the aim of being a big megastar.”

Geri: “The 100 are very respectful to the contestants because they’ve been on the other side themselves.”

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It’s got something for everyone...

Rob: “I always liked the idea of it but I just loved it and enjoyed it so much, especially watching it back. I feel like a lot of Saturday night TV isn’t really aimed at me, like a 30-year-old bloke or my brothers, but I would definitely want to watch this. I feel like there’s something in there for me and everyone else.

It’s a laugh...

Geri: “I think the dry humour is in there too, which Rob brings to it.”

Rob: “I think if I’m on the sofa watching this, I’d want to watch the show with the geezer who winds them up or pulls them up on stuff because the amount of cliches you hear, it’s nice to go ‘nah, come on mate, that’s rubbish’. It’s a different skill [to stand-up] but it’s still pretty similar. When I walk out I ask them a question and at the start of all my stand-up gigs I do the same. I wouldn’t be able to do this job if I wasn’t a stand-up.”

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Geri doesn’t reckon she’d do very well on it…

Geri: “Sitting back now… I don’t think I could do it. It would be so scary. The thing is with me I’m always nervous in anything I do.”

And what about the rest of the Spice Girls?
Geri: [Deadpan] “I think they’d all do beautifully.”

Rob’s a big fan of Geri (and always has been)...

Rob: “Yeah I was a huge fan. My favourite was Geri, obviously. In primary school when Spice Girls were big, they boys dressed up for school show and I was Baby because I was blond. The thing is I don’t really meet a lot of big stars like Geri, so I always hope they’re going to be alright and they’re not going to be starry and stuff. Geri makes me feel awful because she gives people so much time and for someone who’s achieved what Geri has with her fame and notoriety she still takes time and care to speak to people and find out about them, which I think is so impressive.”

‘All Together Now’ kicks off this Saturday 27 January at 7.15pm on BBC One.