Kaiser Chief, Voice UK coach and now TV presenter. A few weeks ago I caught up with Ricky Wilson for a chat about his new Sky 1 show Bring The Noise.
Bring The Noise is an all-new music and comedy show that sees Ricky Wilson in his first role as host, with Nicole Scherzinger and Tinie Tempah as team captains. Alongside them will be comedians Katherine Ryan and Joel Dommett who will feature as regular panellists throughout the series.
Each week two teams of three will take part in rounds involving music trivia questions, games with musical set pieces, which will include spoof video parodies and mash-ups. The last round of each show will see the teams compete in a not-to-be-missed musical performance battle.
First of all, congratulations on your first TV presenting role. Was that always the plan?
It’s weird isn’t it? There must be something wrong. Has everyone else come down with something?
I started the band almost fifteen years ago and we did anything we could to make it a success, sell t-shirts, and drive ourselves to gigs. We worked really hard at it, and then a few years ago we suddenly realised that we hadn’t been doing everything it takes to keep this thing that we’ve worked so hard at going.
Then The Voice came along, and if I could do it, I should be doing it as it was going to help the band. So I did it... and got away with it! Not only did I get away with it, it kind of turned the ship around for the Kaisers and helped us.
But then something happened which I didn’t realise was going to happen, which was that I had to admit to myself that I actually enjoyed it.
So The Voice UK must have opened doors for you in the world of television?
Yeah, I was being called into meetings at various TV companies about doing more stuff. But none of the ideas were working. I didn’t really want to do something for the sake of it, I did The Voice for the band. I wasn’t trying to cash in or anything, some publications said I was ‘selling out’ but I saw it more as ‘buying in’.
I’d like have a groundhog moment to see what would have happened if I hadn’t have done it, I’m sure we would have found a way, because we would have. The Kaiser Chiefs is too important to give up.
So yeah, people were offering me various jobs on TV, and I was like “this isn’t for me”. Then the guys from Sky came along, and they had this idea and not only was this something that I wanted to be part of, it’s something that I thought was quite important.
In a world where they’re taking music off TV, and Buzzcocks has just gone, music on TV is really important, and this (Bring The Noise) is a really good way of doing it, and doing it in style.
It’s not just about people turning up and reading their press release, and bullet points about when their record’s out, it’s different. And if someone else has got the confidence in my ability to do it, then I’m going to go “if you think I can pull it off, I’ll do it”.
I would never assume to put myself forward and assume this would be something I’d be really good at, but someone’s seen something in me and been brave enough to put me in this position.
You don’t really get that many new presenters do you?
How have you found it so far, filming Bring The Noise?
It’s absolutely terrifying. It’s terrifying because I care about it. I really want this to work. I always find if I don’t have any nerves about something, it’s because I don’t really care, and it’s a horrible position to find yourself in.
I find the concentration it involves, really tiring. When I do The Voice, I’m sat next to Boy George and Paloma (Faith), and Will and they’re naturally site gregarious and I’m in awe of how articulate they are, and how brilliantly they can speak.
I’m there thinking and thinking and thinking, and find it quite difficult. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it. I get off on the thrill of making it work, and it’s a little bit like the first time I ever went on stage.
How does Bring The Noise compare to The Voice then?
It’s totally different. There’s absolutely no structure on Bring The Noise. It’s hard to explain the show. I mentioned Buzzcocks earlier which I absolutely loved for all the years it was on, and I even presented it once. I’m not saying I found it easy, but I knew the format so well, that I felt comfortable being able to do that.
This format (Bring The Noise) changes every week. It’s constantly evolving because it’s about these mad games that you have to throw yourself into and if you don’t, you’ll end up looking like the silly one. You know what I mean? You know when people are too cool for school?
Bring The Noise isn’t as simple as just questions and answers, or a set piece that’s been talked about in the production meeting. Everyone has to get stuck in and reveal stuff about themselves that you probably didn’t know before.
What’s it been like working with Nicole Scherzinger, Tinie Tempah and Katherine Ryan? (Joel Dommett wasn’t announced at the time of asking the question)
They’re huge characters! I’m always incredibly starstruck by comedians, and I think Katherine is amazing. I can’t get my head around what she does. I get more starstruck by comedians than I do pop stars, because I don't understand how they can stand up in front of that many people and be funny.
Nicole is a global megastar, and Tinie Tempah I think is a genius at what he does, and one of the best that Britain has produced ever. But saying that, they’re just like me. They have good time and they’re normal like me, which is what I think people are going to love about this show.
I can imagine Nicole and Tinie being quite competitive. Are they?
Oh yeah! They’re in the music industry which is the biggest game in the world. And to win at it like they have, you have to be competitive. You can’t just sit back and relax, you have toward every day at success. You’re never safe in the music industry, so of course they’re madly competitive.
That’s probably why I’m quite excited about hosting it, the fact I don’t have to get involved in the game. It would screw me up in knots actually having to win it!
The audience get quite involved in each show don’t they?
There’s about 750 people in the audience, it feels more like we’re playing to the room rather than the cameras. It’s got a great live feel about it. Personally i’m playing to the studio audience.
And yes, we do get them involved, but I don’t want to give too much away!
I’d like everyone sitting at home after it finishes goes “I want to be in that studio audience”. I used to feel that way about TFI Friday every week. You just wanted to get involved and I hope that’s exactly how this show comes across.
Is there anything you can say about the house band?
They’re brilliant. There’s nothing quite like the sound of a live band. It feels different, it feels live, it feels energetic. I think it’s something we haven’t seen in a long time.
Can you tell us any of the guests you’re going to have on?
One of our first guests is my friend David Tennant, and we’ve also got Sam from Game of Thrones, John Bradley coming on. I’m excited about all the people who are coming on because it’s a great opportunity for selfies and getting myself some more Instagram followers!
Finally, you were back filming The Voice the other week. How’s that all going?
I can’t wait for you to see it! It’s different. I’m sure you’ve read stuff in the press about it... it’s quite explosive!