The presenters of Sounds Like Friday Night have backed the new BBC One music show to help take artists to the next level.
Hosted by Radio 1's Greg James and 1Xtra's Ashley "Dotty" Charles, the programme premieres live on BBC One at 7.30pm tonight, showcasing performers Jason Derulo, Charlie Puth and Jessie Ware, along with a pre-recorded segment with Dave Grohl. It will feature a different star co-host each week, with Derulo taking the reins for the first broadcast.
James and Dotty believe the show will provide the perfect launching pad for newer artists. "You need the blockbuster names because that’s what gets people excited," Dotty told Music Week. "But we we can negotiate that middle ground and introduce you to someone that maybe you’ve heard of loosely, but you’ve never seen perform."
"You need to make sure that people are engaged and then you can start playing with [the format] a bit more and introduce unknown artists," said James. "I think the music industry is really excited for that and it needs it as well - you need a place for these artists to go on and feel like they are important.”
Produced by Carpool Karaoke producer Fulwell 73, the six-part series is the channel's first weekly music show since Top Of The Pops, which was taken off the air in 2006.
Asked why he thought there had been no returning contemporary music programme in the interim, James said: "It's risky and it's expensive. That's why you see 8,000 panel shows and clip-based TV programmes because they're quick, they're easy and they can just fire them out.
"Hopefully, the BBC will stick with [Sounds Like Friday Night] and really invest in it - not just money, but time. You need to invest time in these things more than anything because you need to give it space to breathe and people to get it and get where we're coming from.
"It will be credible, hopefully, but not too serious - because music is fun."
The November 3 episode will be co-hosted by Liam Payne. Liam Gallagher and London Grammar will also be performing. Demi Lovato will then take on co-hosting duties the following week, with Plan B and Loyle Carner also set to feature.
"We're definitely aiming for family audiences," said Dotty. "We want it to feel like an event - that show where you say, 'It's that time, let's sit down and watch Sounds Like Friday Night."
"We're under no illusions," added James. "You can't just expect 10 million people to sit down on that first night and go, 'Here we go, the future of telly'. That's not the reality of the world. But we want it to grow. We'd like it to be a long-running thing for sure."