Why Dan­nii Minogue is playing nice on new series, Let It Shine

Herald Sun - Switched On - - FRONT PAGE - ELLEN WHINNETT / IN LON­DON

Thirty four thou­sand kilo­me­tres is quite a way to com­mute for work, but Dan­nii Minogue is used to it. The 44-year-old sin­gle mother has been shut­tling back and forth be­tween Aus­tralia and Lon­don for months, film­ing her new UK TV tal­ent search series, Let It Shine, while son Ethan re­mained at home fin­ish­ing his first year of school­ing. Rather than re­lo­cate to Eng­land for the project, Minogue jet­ted be­tween her two homes, fear­ing it would be too dis­rup­tive for her six-year-old (with former part­ner, model Kris Smith). “The long­est trip I’ve done, the last one, was 10 days [away], so it’s been fan­tas­tic for me … I am very lucky.” The new for­mat — bring­ing to­gether a boy band to star in a new mu­si­cal — has been cre­ated by Minogue’s pal and former Take That front­man, Gary Bar­low. After seven years judg­ing on The X Fac­tor in Aus­tralia and the UK, as well as a stint on Aus­tralia’s Got Tal­ent, Minogue knew what the job en­tailed, and jumped at the op­por­tu­nity. “It’s a fun job. I love be­ing able to just sit there and say what­ever comes in to my head. That scares the hell out of most peo­ple, es­pe­cially on live TV, but I love live TV.” Un­like other tal­ent shows, Let It Shine doesn’t fea­ture nov­elty or joke acts which make the au­di­ence cringe. The young men who try out are al­most all ex­pe­ri­enced singers or dancers. They’re not com­pet­ing for a record­ing con­tract, but a job, with the five win­ners to be cast as the stars of The Band, a mu­si­cal to show­case the mu­sic of Take That, to tour Eng­land later this year. Se­ri­ous money has been in­vested in the pro­duc­tion, but the tone is pos­i­tive and there’s no “nasty judge” mo­ments. “The mood of it, the vibe, it just seems to be some­thing that peo­ple are ex­cited to see, some­thing fresh,” Minogue says, dur­ing the show’s launch at a ho­tel in Lon­don’s trendy Soho theatre dis­trict. Minogue and Bar­low are joined at the judges’ ta­ble by former Span­dau Bal­let band mem­ber and ac­tor Martin Kemp, and Am­ber Ri­ley, aka Mercedes in the TV hit Glee. “We don’t have our own teams and we are not com­pet­ing with each other as judges, there’s none of that,” she ex­plains. “We are work­ing to­gether as a panel to find those five right guys.” Playing men­tor sits eas­ily with Minogue, who has been named a TV Week Lo­gies am­bas­sador, nur­tur­ing the young stars nom­i­nated for the Gra­ham Kennedy out­stand­ing new tal­ent and fan-voted best new tal­ent prizes. “I like the kind of psy­chol­ogy of it and feel that I’ve had a very lucky ground­ing: a good fam­ily, a sis­ter [Kylie] to bounce off, so I have a men­tor there.” The sec­ond phase of Let It Shine will be the live shows filmed in a Manch­ester theatre in Fe­bru­ary, with Minogue bring­ing Ethan along so he can spend time with his fa­ther’s fam­ily. “His pa­ter­nal grand­par­ents live in Manch­ester so he will get to see them, hang out, be in Lon­don again if he re­mem­bers any of it,’’ she said. “He loves mu­sic, his favourite thing is com­edy. “He’ll come to the stu­dio and watch … mostly he’ll be look­ing at the warmup guy. That’s his favourite per­son in the room, es­pe­cially if they do any­thing slap­stick. He loves it all.’’


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