TV stardom for the worst singer on campus

There are many talented singers at the University of Leicester, from LU Voices to the Chamber Choir to the Band and Gig Society – but Mike Simpson isn’t one of them. As evidence of how bad his voice is, Mike competed on Change Your Tune, a televised singing competition for people who can’t sing. The show featuring Mike’s performance will be broadcast this Sunday, 20 May, at 3.00pm on ITV1.

Mike works in the External Relations Division, where he has been Senior Web Communications Officer for the past ten years. A TV crew visited campus last November to film Mike at work and also record some comments from his line manager, Digital Communications Manager Abi Kelly. Abi and other colleagues travelled to London to be in the audience for the show.

In each episode of Change Your Tune, five terrible singers demonstrate their lack of talent by murdering a popular song, before performing it a second time – hopefully better. Between the two performances each singer has undergone seven weeks of intensive training with one of the UK’s top vocal coaches. The most improved singer each week, as voted for by the studio audience, takes home £10,000.

Mike, who is the final contestant on the final show, will perform the 1982 Toto classic ‘Africa’, initially with a piano accompaniment and his natural voice, and then again with a full backing track, a troupe of dancers and the benefit of his vocal training.

“Despite all the hard work of my vocal coach, I haven’t really learned how to sing,” admits Mike. “I just learned to sing one song slightly less badly. Did I win £10,000? I can’t answer that yet. But I did get a trip to London, a suit and a haircut out of it, so that’s not bad.”

For colleagues who miss the broadcast (or want to see it again) Mike has booked Bennett Lecture Theatre 5 for lunchtime on Monday 21 May, where he will screen the programme from 12.30pm.