BBC1's Cohen Secures De Mol's The Voice

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Danny Cohen, controller, BBC One, has secured UK rights to The Voice, a Dutch talent show format from Talpa Media, which has been performing well for NBC in the US (12m viewers for series one, a second series commissioned).

Cohen, who sealed the deal with the show’s creator John de Mol, said: "I'm absolutely delighted that The Voice will be coming to the BBC. It's a big, exciting and warm-hearted series and will be a fantastic Saturday night event on BBC1."

De Mol, one of the world’s leading format creators and owner of Talpa Media, added: "The Voice stands for a new generation in its genre and I'm delighted that in the UK it has been picked up by the BBC who really share my passion."

The show will be produced in the UK by Shed Media’s Wall to Wall. Shed CEO Nick Southgate said: "We're thrilled to be working with John de Mol and his team at Talpa Media in bringing The Voice to the UK. It's an extraordinary show that has captured the hearts of viewers round the world and we're proud to be part of bringing it to BBC1."

The series consists of three phases: a blind audition, a battle phase and live performance shows. Four judges/coaches, all famous musicians, choose teams of contestants through a blind audition process. Each judge has the length of the hopeful’s performance to decide if he or she wants that singer on his or her team; if two or more judges want the same singer the singer gets to choose which coach they want to work with. Each team of singers will be developed by their coach. In the second stage, coaches will have two team members battle against each other by singing the same song, with the coach choosing which team member advances to the next stage. In the final phase, remaining contestants compete against each other in live broadcasts. The television audience will help to decide who moves on. When one team member remains for each coach, the contestants will compete against each other in the finale. The winner of the show, which is expected to launch in 2012, gets a Universal Music contract.

The BBC had to beat off a challenge from ITV for the format and is reckoned to have paid Talpa £25m over two years. Rumours suggest Cheryl Cole may be on board as a judge.