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Gareth Malone

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Gareth Malone

Gareth Malone
Gareth Malone rehearsing at Trafalgar Square
Born Gareth Edmund Malone
(1975-11-09) 9 November 1975
London, England, UK
Residence London, England
Education Bournemouth School
University of East Anglia
Royal Academy of Music
Occupation Choirmaster and television presenter
Known for The Choir, The Big Performance
Spouse(s) Becky Malone

2007: BAFTA Television Award - Best Feature (The Choir)
2009: BAFTA Television Award - Best Feature (The Choir: Boys Don't Sing)
2009: Broadcast Award — Best Popular Factual Programme Winner (The Choir: Boys Don't Sing)
2010: 36th BPG Television and Radio Awards — Best TV Performer in a Non-acting Role & best Factual Entertainment show (The Choir)[1]

2010: Freedom of the City of London

Gareth Edmund Malone OBE (born 9 November 1975)[2][3] is an English choirmaster and broadcaster, self-described as an "animateur, presenter and populariser of choral singing". He is best known for his television appearances in programmes such as The Choir which focus on singing and introducing choral music to new participants.[3] Malone was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2012 Birthday Honours, for services to music.[4][5]


Gareth Malone was born into a family of Irish descent. His father James Malone grew up in Parkhead in Scotland[6] and was a bank manager. His English mother Sian worked in the civil service.[7] Gareth was educated at Bournemouth School and because of his passion for singing he was "bullied mercilessly" at school.[7] He sang with the Symphony Chorus of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO)[8] and he studied drama at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, where he was in the university choir and composed music for theatre productions. After graduating he gave private tuition and then applied for a postgraduate vocal studies course at the Royal Academy of Music; he passed with distinction in 2005.

Until December 2009, Malone worked for the London Symphony Orchestra at LSO St Luke's where he ran their youth choir and community choir. Whilst working at the L.S.O., Malone was awarded the position of Edward Heath Assistant Animateur in 2001. He entered television work when approached by 20/20, a production company which wanted to make a series about singing in schools. Without knowing who could front the programme they had researched the term "community choirmasters" and discovered Malone’s name. The Choir was the result and won two BAFTAs[9][10] and a Broadcast award.[11]

On 31 December 2009, Malone conducted the first New Year's Eve Twitter Community Choir performance of Auld Lang Syne. He asked his followers on Twitter, and friends on Facebook, to join in with the event.

A later project was The Knight Crew, a youth opera based on a book written by Nicky Singer and performed at Glyndebourne. After choosing approximately 50 cast out of over 400 applicants between the ages of 14-20 through workshops and auditions, and months of rehearsals, The Knight Crew was performed at Glyndebourne between 3 and 6 March 2010. The project was filmed for a television series, Gareth Malone Goes to Glyndebourne and aired on the BBC on 1 July 2010.

In May 2010 Malone was awarded the Freedom of the City of London by Nick Anstee, Lord Mayor of the City of London (not to be confused with the Mayor of London) in recognition of his music education work in that city.[12]

In 2013 Malone recruited 16 singers aged from 18-27 for his Gareth Malone Voices choir. They recorded a CD album and gave concerts at 14 locations throughout Britain in 2014.[13][14]

Television work

Gareth Malone's television appearances began in 2007 with his reality television series The Choir, broadcast on BBC Two. The series focussed on teaching choral singing to teenagers with no such experience, the first programme being set in Northolt High School, a comprehensive school in the west London suburbs. Subsequent programmes continued the theme by taking choral music to challenging situations: Boys Don't Sing (2008) featured pupils at Lancaster School, Leicester, an all-boys school where there was reluctance to sing; the third series, entitled Unsung Town, featured the formation of a community choir in South Oxhey, a suburban town where singing was not a common activity.

In 2010 Malone presented a children's programme for CBBC, The Big Performance in which ten keen, but extremely shy, young singers took the opportunity to overcome their fears. They sang for a larger audience each week, taking it in turns to be the soloist and in the final week they performed for BBC Proms in the Park. A second series was broadcast in 2011 with the final week taking the form of a performance of a choral arrangement of the song "Keep Holding On" for the BBC charity telethon Children in Need 2011, where the ten singers led a live choir in the studio along with children's choirs nationwide linked by satellite.[15]

For the BBC Two programme The Choir: Military Wives, first broadcast in November 2011, Malone went to Chivenor Barracks in Devon, creating a choir from wives and partners of military personnel deployed to Afghanistan. The culmination of the programme was the opening performance for the Royal British Legion's Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall on 12 November 2011. The three-minute piece performed by the Military Wives Choir was the song Wherever You Are, a love poem compiled from letters written between the women and their absent husbands and partners and set to music by composer Paul Mealor.[16]

A successful campaign was launched to promote sales of the CD single, with the aim of it becoming the 2011 Christmas number one in the UK Singles Chart, which was supported by BBC Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans.[17] First day sales, which included all pre-orders, indicated that they were outselling their closest rivals, Little Mix, by a hundred singles to one, causing Ladbrokes to close betting for the Christmas number one, and Simon Cowell to admit defeat in the race. The pre-order sales caused the single to become one of the top 20 best-selling music products of all-time at

In 2011, Malone's show Gareth Malone Goes to Glyndebourne won an International Emmy Award in the Best Arts Programme category.[18][19]

On 16th November 2014 it was announced that Malone and a group of celebrities he had mentored had reached the UK number 1 with their Children In Need charity single Wake Me Up, a cover of the song originally recorded by Swedish dance act Avicii.

Television filmography

Malone's television appearances include to date:[20]

Date Title Broadcaster Notes
2007 Choir, TheThe Choir BBC Two
2008 Choir: Boys Don't Sing, TheThe Choir: Boys Don't Sing[21] BBC Two
2009 Choir: Unsung Town, TheThe Choir: Unsung Town[22] BBC Two Broadcast by NHK Educational TV and NHK BS1 (NHK衛星第1テレビジョン NHK Ēsē Dai-ichi Terebijon) (NHK Broadcasting Satellite Television 1) in Japan in 2010
2009 How a Choir Works[23] BBC Four Single documentary
2009 Never Mind the Buzzcocks BBC Two Appeared as a guest on panel game show
2010 Sport Relief 2010 BBC One Appeared as a guest conducting the Olympic Choir
2010 Shanties and Sea Songs with Gareth Malone [24] BBC Four Single documentary as part of BBC Sea Fever season
2010 Gareth Malone Goes to Glyndebourne[25] BBC Two Example
2010 Extraordinary School for Boys[26] BBC Two Example
2010 Big Performance, TheThe Big Performance CBBC Series aimed at children
2011 The Choir Does Comic Relief 2011 BBC One Guest appearance on BBC Red Nose Day 2011 training a choir of celebrity chefs
2011 Big Performance, TheThe Big Performance CBBC Series aimed at children
2011 Children in Need BBC One Guest appearance leading a choir of children
2011 Choir: Military Wives , TheThe Choir: Military Wives [27] BBC Two Spin-off single "Wherever You Are" released on 18 December 2011
2012 Sing While You Work BBC Two Four workplace choirs are formed and compete over six episodes
2012 Never Mind the Buzzcocks BBC Two Appeared as a guest on panel game show
2013 It Takes A Choir USA US version of The Choir
2013 Sing While You Work BBC Two Five workplace choirs are formed and compete over eight episodes
2013 Mr. Blue Sky (Jeff Lynne) BBC Four Choirs for a "The XX century Mozart, Jeff Lynne"
2014 Would I Lie To You? BBC One Appeared as a guest on the panel game show
2014 Gareth's All Star Choir BBC One A choir of celebrities create a recording of Avicii's Wake Me Up for Children in Need


Gareth Malone has written two books on the subject of choral singing. His most recent title, Choir: Gareth Malone, is an account of the production of his television series The Choir.

  • Malone, Gareth (28 April 2011). Music for the People: A Journey through the Pleasures and Pitfalls of Classical Music. Collins.  [28]
  • Malone, Gareth (13 September 2012). Choir: Gareth Malone. Harper Collins.  [29]

Personal life

Malone is married to Becky, an English teacher.[30] They live in North London with their daughter, Esther,[31] who was born in 2010, and their son, Gilbert, who was born in 2013.[32]


  1. ^ Douglas, Torin (26 March 2010). "Winners – 36th BPG Television and Radio Awards". Broadcasting Press Guild. Retrieved 11 July 2010. 
  2. ^ Gareth Malone at the Internet Movie Database
  3. ^ a b Ross, Deborah (15 March 2008). "Gareth Malone: Note perfect". London: The Independent. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  4. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60173. p. 11. 16 June 2012.
  5. ^ "Gareth Malone". BBC News. 16 June 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  6. ^ Gibb, Bill (13 April 2014) Scots singsongs were the making of Gareth Malone The Sunday Post, Retrieved 1 June 2014
  7. ^ a b Black, Claire (1 June 2014) Gareth Malone on The Choir, and his new album The Scotsman, Retrieved 1 June 2014
  8. ^ Bournemouth Echo
  9. ^ "Television Nominations 2008". British Academy of Film and Television. 2008. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  10. ^ "Television Awards Winners in 2009". British Academy of Film and Television. 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  11. ^ "Broadcast Winners for 2009 Announced". Directors UK. 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  12. ^ "The Choir’s Gareth Malone receives Freedom of the City of London". City of London Corporation. 29 March 2010. Retrieved 21 July 2010. 
  13. ^ Dammann, Guy (22 May 2014) Gareth Malone's Voices review – before you know it, you're singing too The Guardian, Retrieved 1 June 2014
  14. ^ Laws, Roz (7 March 2014) Touring is a dream for TV choirmaster Gareth Malone Birmingham Post, Retrieved 1 June 2014
  15. ^ "BC Children in Need Appeal - Highlights 2". BBC Children in Need. 
  16. ^ "Military Wives: Wherever You Are". Gareth Malone official website. Retrieved 7 December 2011. 
  17. ^ "Chris Evans backs military wives' choir in push for Christmas number one". The Daily Telegraph (London). 2 December 2011. Retrieved 7 December 2011. 
  18. ^ "2011 International Emmy® Award Nominees". November 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  19. ^ "Emmy Award for Glyndebourne!". Gareth Malone official website. Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  20. ^ "Programmes". Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  21. ^ TwentyTwenty TV (2008). "Boys Don't Sing". The Choir. BBC. BBC Two.
  22. ^ TwentyTwenty TV (2009). "Unsung Town". The Choir. BBC. BBC Two.
  23. ^ "How a Choir Works". 2009. BBC. BBC Four.
  24. ^ "Shanties and Sea Songs with Gareth Malone". Season Sea Fever. 2010. BBC. BBC Four.
  25. ^ TwentyTwenty TV (June 2010). "Gareth Malone Goes to Glyndebourne". BBC. BBC Two.
  26. ^ TwentyTwenty TV (September 2010). "Extraordinary School for Boys". Season School Season. BBC. BBC Two.
  27. ^ TwentyTwenty TV (November 2011). "Military Wives". The Choir. BBC. BBC Two.
  28. ^ "Curtis Brown Literary and Talent Agency: Gareth Malone". Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  29. ^ "Choir: Gareth Malone - Tears, Triumphs and Transformations". Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  30. ^ "About Gareth". Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  31. ^ Chapman (27 September 2009). "My space: Gareth Malone, choirmaster". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  32. ^ "A girl is born!". Retrieved 22 September 2010. 

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