The Choir: Unsung Town Review

THE CHOIR – UNSUNG TOWN: Monday 28th November, BBC2, 9pm

If you didn’t watch the original run of Choir Unsung, I urge you to watch this Revisited version (a handy one-hour synopsis of the original series). The programme looks back on a time when the impish and likeable Gareth Malone attempted to transform the neglected and – by their own admission – ‘chavvy’ town of South Oxhey.

We revisit his journey, and hear from those that featured prominently in the three separate choirs he created; each as you would expect, initially reserved and hesitant but by the end singing Katrina and the Waves with abandon.

Granted, the whole thing is a bit saccharine at times, the words ‘heart’, ‘community’ and ‘amazing’ feature heavily. However it’s impossible not to believe in Gareth and his earnest passion for music, as well as what it can do for people and their self-worth.

Gareth himself is also quite likeable as the reaction from the community shows. Even his impressive head of hair can’t escape compliments… “It’s wicked… it’s like girl’s hair actuallyâ€? jokes one of the choir’s ‘bad boys’. Clearly he’s just jealous.

From a boxing club to its run down housing estates, Gareth’s journey in South Oxhey is unsurprisingly not an easy one, and the greatest moments come from the characters he meets along the way. The stories of Ken, widowed and looking for new direction in life and Sibel, a young girl with learning disabilities are ones to look out for. The experience of watching them come out of their shells is genuinely moving.

If nothing else, seeing a bunch of burly blokes belting their hearts out to an equally elated group of pub revellers is not something you see every day (and don’t it feel good… hey!).