New Talent Show…Walk the Line

Craig David, Alesha Dixon, Maya Jama, Dawn French and Gary Barlow
Craig David, Alesha Dixon, Maya Jama, Dawn French and Gary Barlow

Earlier this year, ITV announced that it had no plans to bring back The X Factor – the last full series of the singing competition to air in 2018, with two spin-offs, The X Factor: Celebrity and The X Factor: The Band next in 2019.

However, anyone who thought this was a sign that Simon Cowell was starting to lose his grip on viewers and schedules can think again. Not only is Britain’s Got Talent set to return in 2022 after a pandemic-related absence, it is now bringing us another new talent show format, Walk the Line, which takes place over six consecutive evenings.

It was originally announced that the new show would also mark his return to television after going on hiatus last year, but he decided to step down, saying he instead wanted to “focus on his role as a creator and producer”.

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However, he has found plenty of familiar faces to take his place on the panel, including Gary Barlow, who should know the ropes after his own stint on The X Factor. The Take That singer-songwriter says: “When Simon calls, it’s usually with something quite extraordinary. I’m so excited to be on a brand new TV show, and of course my favorite part of Walk the Line is discovering new talent.

He will be joined by someone else who is used to working with Cowell, pop star turned Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon.

Chart star Craig David has also been cast, and the panel is rounded out by Dawn French, who can barely contain herself. She says, “I’m way too excited to be a part of this show, – I’ve decided to wear double panties at all times…”

Meanwhile, Maya Jama is taking on the presenting duties, and she’s also brimming with enthusiasm: “It was one of my childhood dreams. I remember watching shows created by Simon when I was younger, and having the opportunity to host one myself… it was really a pinch moment for me. Expect first-class entertainment and truly amazing singing talent. Walk The Line is unlike anything I’ve worked on before and I hope everyone has as much fun watching it as we did.

But aside from Simon’s involvement, why are the stars so excited about Walk the Line? Well, it could be due to the format.

The series is giving a musical act a life-changing £500,000 payout. The artists – whether soloists, duos or groups – will take the stage to perform in front of the nation and the judges. So far so standard for a talent show, but there’s a twist. The winner of tonight’s opening episode will have the option of walking away with £10,000 or ‘crossing the line’ and facing four new challengers tomorrow, risking losing it all.

Judge Craig said: “I’m really impressed with the quality of the competitors I’ve seen so far and love that they get to bet on themselves every step of the way. I can’t wait to get started and see who is going to take the money or take a leap of faith and walk the line.

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