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The Choir: Sing While You Work

Preaching to ‘The Choir’

Gareth Malone will be teaching bankers to sing in a new series of ‘The Choir’. But what would happen if he took on some even trickier candidates for redemption?


Image Problem: No one likes a liar. Or a bully. Or a thief.

Song solution: Madness – ‘Our House’.

Outcome: It’s all going swimmingly until the estate agents suddenly disappear, before returning ten minutes later with the news that Sky1’s chorister-in-residence has made them a better offer. Malone matches it, the BBC is bankrupted overnight and Malone is hired by Sky1.

Image Problem: No one likes them. They don’t care.

Song solution: Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder – ‘Ebony and Ivory’.

Outcome: John Terry isn't in the choir, but he turns up and barges his way to the front anyway. Rio Ferdinand’s reaction tests Malone’s good nature to breaking point. When Roy Hodgson turns up and tells a joke about space monkeys, it’s the last straw.

Image Problem: A winter spent trying to decide between being hungry or being cold? Thanks guys.

Song solution: John Lennon – ‘Imagine’.

Outcome: The energy bosses can’t be arsed to turn up. Instead, they’ve hired Dame Kiri te Kanawa, Aretha Franklin, Bryn Terfel and the reanimated corpses of Luciano Pavarotti and Enrico Caruso to sing the song for them. The extortionately expensive quintet sound great – whether the energy bosses have learnt their lesson about the true value of community endeavour remains to be seen.

Image Problem: Where to begin?

Song solution: Sister Sledge – ‘We are Family’.

Outcome: Theresa May agitates furiously for a solo. Vince Cable, sulks in a corner. Meanwhile, despite being unable to hold a note if his life depended on it, Iain Duncan Smith insists on redesigning the whole system of musical notation.

Image Problem: Insularity, self-pity, a tendency to bang on a bit.

Song solution: Something by Morrissey. He's not going to sing anyone else's song, is he?

Outcome: Gareth has donned a Johnny Marr wig in order to help Morrissey reconcile his inner curmudgeon, fantasist, sensitive boot-boy, working-class hero and Wildean wit. It’s all going brilliantly until Morrissey catches him eating a bag of pork scratchings.

The Choir: Sing While You Work’, starts Monday November 4, 9pm, BBC2.

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Read ‘The Choir: Sing While You Work’ review

Episode one

More of the same from Gareth Malone – but when that constitutes such effortlessly cheerful fare, repetition isn’t really a problem. As this new series begins, Gareth’s trying to give the gift of song to the staff of P&O ferries.

Read the full review

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