Take That frontman Gary Barlow and Penny Lane Entertainment are set to co-produce a new music and entertainment show for BBC One. Prime-time hour format goes through working title I am with the group and will bring together a group of leading artists and musicians to perform classic songs from the past and present, as well as to discuss their careers and musical heroes. The deadline was first published exclusively on the project in March.
The show’s group will be led by Barlow on keyboards and vocals, and also include Jamie Cullum (piano and vocals), James Bay (guitar and vocals), Mica Paris (vocals), Guy Chambers (keyboards and music director), Tom Fletcher (guitar and vocals), Danya Fisher (bass) and Donavan Hepburn (drums).
Barlow will host special guests on the show, including Anne-Marie, DJ and producer Nathan Dawe, rapper MoStack and Craig David. They will collaborate with the group and participate in what is billed as “a relaxed conversation”. It’s kind of an extension of Barlow’s lockdown Crooner sessions who saw him perform online duets with big names such as Elton John, Robbie Williams and Boy George.
Barlow said: “One of the main reasons I did this show for BBC One was that I just wanted to walk into a room with a bunch of people I love and respect who play music. Our goal is to give artists a platform and a place where they can perform and have fun. This is simply a musical treat for anyone who enjoys watching top musicians perform great songs of any genre. and any decade.
I am with the group is produced by Penny Lane Entertainment, backed by Spun Gold, which is directed by former ITV Studios Creative Director Lee Connolly. The company was behind NBC Dr Seuss’ Grinch Musical! Last year.
Connolly noted: “Artists and musicians love to play and I am with the group creates a platform for them to do just that. Gary continues to show, with his Crooner sessions, how fun it is to collaborate with other musicians and I am with the group takes this concept a step further by creating a bespoke environment where artists can relax and do what they do best.
I am with the group is a production of Penny Lane Entertainment and Gary Barlow. The director is Chris Howe and the executive producers are Mark Sidaway (The X factor) and Connolly. It was commissioned by Owen Courtney for BBC Music.