I Can See Your Voice



Paddy McGuinness


"Celebrity investigators": Jimmy Carr, Amanda Holden, Alison Hammond


Thames and Naked (both Fremantle labels) in association with CJ ENM for BBC One, 10 April 2021 to 24 December 2022 (16 episodes in 2 series + 1 special)


Which of these six people can sing?

Six singers. Some can sing in tune. Some cannot.

Keep one good singer to the end of the show, and our contestants will win the show's prize of £10,000. Keep a bad singer to the end, and that £10,000 is going to the bad singer's pocket.

Paddy McGuinness explains the basic idea to this week's contestants.

"Let's hear you sing!", surely the easiest way to find out if someone can actually sing. But no, that would be far too easy. Where's the fun in asking the direct question, when we can go all round the houses?

So we're invited to judge the way someone poses with the microphone. Is this the pose a genuine singer would strike?

A singer holding a microphone.

Our contestants come to a conclusion about which of the six potentials looks least likely to be a singer, and eject that person from the game. But the defeated singer isn't going just yet, we need to hear them sing. Paddy leads the cries of the show's titular catchphrase. "Let's! Hear! Your! Voice!!!"

The stage splits down the middle, and the chosen contestant steps forward for their moment in the spotlight.

Tune, or no tune?

The music swells, and we seem to wait an eternity while they do the reveal. Eventually, just before we've waited too long, the eliminated person bursts into song, and we find out just how good they are - or aren't.

Helping the contestants make their decision, and offering the benefit of their years in showbiz, are a resident panel of guessers - Alison Hammond, Amanda Holden, and Jimmy Carr. They're joined by a popstar each week, who will have something to do at the end of the show.

A sample panel: Alison, Amanda, Ronan Keating, Jimmy.

The show continues. There's a "Lip Sync Challenge", where each potential singer performs in time to a backing track laid down earlier - are they miming to their own vocals, or to someone else's? One of the singers leaves after this round.

"Unlock my life" is a short video package from two of the remaining singers, where they hope to convince that they're an excellent singer. The singers are allowed to tell lies, but only about their singing experience. Two are booted after this round - and they may not be the two whose video clips we've seen.

Finally, "Interrogation", a 30-second interview with one of the last two possibles, live in the studio. There's a small bank of questions the contestants might ask, this isn't a freeform interview.

Another good singer is eliminated.

Which brings us to the big reveal. Our guest performer takes to the stage, and prepares to perform one of their biggest hits. They're joined by the singer picked by the contestants. Are we going to end the game with a wonderful duet between Danny from McFly and an excellent singer? Or are we going to end with Ronan Keating and someone who simply cannot sing?

Tuneless caterwauling in a few seconds' time.

The result is found, and we all finish with a reprise of the pop star's selected hit.

I Can See Your Voice crackles along well. Paddy McGuinness is swift, witty, exchanges just the right sort of barb with the panel, and keeps the show motoring along. All of the celebrity panel bring something different – without ever losing sight of the way it is inspired guesswork throughout.

Key moments

Ronan Keating and Simon Webbe's reactions to finding they were duetting with bad singers. You'd think performing with Boyzone and Blue would have given them plenty of practice when it comes to… ah, you're ahead of us.


Guest pop stars in the show were, in order: Danny Jones from McFly, Nadine Coyle from Girls Aloud, Ronan Keating, Fleur East, Louise, Heather Small from M People, Alexandra Burke and Ricky Wilson. The last episode of the first series had Paralympian Sophie Carrigill as one of the contestants.


Based on the series "I Can See Your Voice" created by CJ ENM Co. Ltd.

The BBC format is tweaked from the version shown on Fox in the USA: we've lost another round with a video clip, and discarded a fussy prize structure. Both of these changes make the show flow better.

Title music



Vocal coaches are Annabel Williams and Ulrika Bergelind. Choreographer is Claudimar Neto. Musical Director is Steve Porter.

Filmed at Maidstone Studios.

The first series went head-to-head with Game of Talents on ITV, and comfortably beat its rival in the ratings. ITV moved the last three episodes to avoid the clash.

Web links

BBC programme page

Wikipedia entry

See also

Weaver's Week review


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