An image of judges and presenters of Let it Shine

Hot on the coattails of Strictly Come Dancing comes Let It Shine

Strictly Come Dancing has seen one of its most successful seasons in South Africa pulling in some of the best ratings for BBC Brit (DStv channel 120) in 2017. BBC Brit is also available to live stream on DStv Now. 

To ensure lovers of big, bold entertainment shows are not left with a gaping hole in their television viewing lives, from Sunday 21 January at 18:00, Let It Shine will sing and dance its way onto screens with a compelling, exhilarating and dazzling inside look into what it takes to become a leading star in a hit musical stage show.

The brand new entertainment format will be fronted by two of the BBC’s most loved presenters Graham Norton, known best for his witty celebrity chat show and Mel Giedroyc, one half of the loveable former presenting duo on The Great British Bake Off. Over eight weeks of competition, Let It Shine will be putting talented individuals through their paces, to create a band who will join the cast of a brand new stage show featuring the music of Take That - who over the past thirty years have achieved over 50 number one singles globally and nearly 40 number one albums globally.

The singing and dancing competition will be judged by four leaders in the international music and theatre industries. Led by head judge Gary Barlow, front man of hit band Take That, the hopeful performers will also have to wow singer and TV personality Dannii Minogue, former Glee actress and star of the musical Dream Girls, Amber Riley and Martin Kemp, former EastEnders actor and member of hit 80s British boyband Spandau Ballet. 

The singing and dancing competition will be judged by four leaders in the international music and theatre industries. Led by head judge Gary Barlow, front man of hit band Take That, the hopeful performers will also have to wow singer and TV personality Dannii Minogue, former Glee actress and star of the musical Dream Girls, Amber Riley and Martin Kemp, former EastEnders actor and member of hit 80s British boyband Spandau Ballet. 

Amber Riley, joins the first audition stage (episodes one-four) and then singer, television personality and actress Lulu, joins the second stage. The judges will be looking for a band that exudes the charisma, showmanship and stage presence that Take That became so famous for.

Since airing in the UK in 2017, the winners of Let It Shine have gone on to star in the critically acclaimed hit musical The Band, currently touring to sold out crowds across the UK. 

Let It Shine is a BBC Studios production, overseen by Guy Freeman, Editor of Formats and Special Events (Adele at the BBC). The Executive Producer is Andrew Cartmell (Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two). 


Let It Shine – The Format

The Auditions: The Starway
In episodes one to four we meet the contestants for the very first time. Each auditionee sings for the live studio audience and judges Gary Barlow, Dannii Minogue, Martin Kemp and guest judge Amber Riley. After their performances, the judges independently award up to five stars each, without knowing how many stars their fellow judges have given. For the contestants this means they could score anything from a minimum of four stars up to a maximum of 20 stars.

The key number is 15: the performers must score 15 in order to make it through to the next stage of the competition. A 'starway' of 20 stars trails from the judges’ desk to the stage where the contestant stands on the 15th star. One by one, the stars light up moving towards the contestant. If the 15th star (the one they are standing on) lights up then they are successfully through to the next stage of the competition. But if the shining stars fall short of the 15th star, then the singer’s journey will be over.

The Group Stage: The Collaborations
In episode five, the boys who have been successful in the audition stages will take part in a showcase of vocals, dance skills and harmonies that set the scene for what’s to come in the live shows. By the end of this episode the judges will form five boy bands. But before that happens, the boys will be put into groups of eight and must perform together, to prove they can collaborate with each other and with famous pop stars. Beverley Knight, Kaiser Chiefs, Melanie C, Busted and Olly Murs join as special guests, with each taking a group of boys under their wing for a performance of a medley of hits. Will the boys freeze in the bright lights or seize their moment to shine?

After each performance the groups line up on stars and the judges decide which five of the eight have the right blend of talent, charisma and passion to create the best band. Those five names are revealed, with stars trailing from the judges’ desk and lighting up one by one. If the star that a performer is standing on lights up, they are in the band; sadly if their star doesn’t light up, their time on the show is over.

The Live Shows: The Battle Of The Bands
Twenty five boys will make it to episode six, the first of three live shows. For the first time, they will compete for viewers' votes. Each band has a name, a sound, a look and style of their own - they are now performing as boybands and the judges expect to see polished performances at a professional level.


The winning five boys will go on to star in ‘The Band’, a brand new exciting stage musical, featuring the music of Take That. More details regarding the format of the live shows will be revealed in due course.