Celebrity choir master Gareth Malone is facing his toughest challenge yet – to turn a noisy group of football fans into a commercial success.
The TV favourite, who took the Military Wives Choir to the top of the charts, is working with a bunch of rowdy Ipswich Town supporters for a special BBC series.
He has selected 20 fans from Section 6 of the Sir Bobby Robson Stand, and joined them at the last home game against Preston.
Season ticker holder, Warren Mitchell, from Section 5 of the Sir Bobby Robson stand, said: “I sit next to the noisy lot with the drum.
“The lads were singing a tuneful rendition of ‘Ole, ole, ole, ole, we’re the Tractor Boys, gonna make some noise’ – and I’m sure that Gareth bloke was conducting.”
The Suffolk Gazette understands that the singing Town faithful are in the early stages of their musical journey, and that filming will continue up until the Spring. Members of the all-male choir have been told to stay tight-lipped about the project until its completion.
A member of the BBC production crew revealed: “It was Initially a challenge to get the Ipswich fans on board. But after six or seven pints they were warmed up and were a joy to work with.
“We pulled them into a recording studio on the morning after the Preston game. They were a bit hung over, but once we topped them up with a few lagers they were raring to go again, and did the business in a few takes.”
Asked why Mr Malone, 40, wanted to take on the challenge, the insider said: “Gareth has always been interested in how much everyone enjoys singing en masse at football matches with no thought of their own musical ability.
“Based on his experience at Portman Road, he is in no doubt that the level of alcohol consumption provides a clue to this phenomenon.”
BBC bosses are hoping that the programme will generate a spin-off Christmas charity record that would give Simon Cowell’s X Factor winner a run for their money.
And they say a popular terrace anthem based on the chorus of the Boney M classic, Mary’s Boy Child has already been tipped as the choir’s best bet to top the Christmas charts.
A music Industry source said: “Gareth has got his work cut out harmonising that lot. But I genuinely think there is a 50:50 chance that the nation could be eating its turkey next December to the melodic sounds of ‘Hark now hear the Ipswich sing, the Norwich ran away, and we will fight forever more because of Boxing Day’.”
The Choir will be shown on BBC1 later in the year.
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