Judging on The Voice made Ricky Wilson sick

Ricky Wilson and Rita Ora attending the launch of The Voice. PIC: PA
Ricky Wilson and Rita Ora attending the launch of The Voice. PIC: PA
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He’s come a long way since his band Kaiser Chiefs were finding their musical feet at unassuming concert venues in their home city of Leeds.

Back then, Ricky Wilson was a former Leeds College of Art and Design lecturer with dreams of making it big in the charts.

Now he’s one of the most recognisable faces on TV, thanks to his role on BBC One singing competition The Voice.

But it seems Ricky still gets an occasional attack of the butterflies, not least when he signed up as the ‘new boy’ on the programme’s coaching panel for its 2014 run.

Speaking ahead of the start of the show’s latest series this weekend, he revealed he was prescribed SEASICKNESS pills to cure his nerves last year – although he didn’t end up taking them.

“I was really dizzy and it wasn’t just [The Voice’s trademark] spinning chair,” said Ricky.

“I thought, ‘I don’t get anxious, I’m a rock star!’”

This time around, the Kaisers frontman is an established part of the programme and the new kid on the block is Rita Ora, who has replaced Kylie Minogue as the sole female coach.

Ricky is predicting big things from her, saying: “Everyone’s heard of Rita Ora, but no one’s really met her properly yet.

“I think this is going to make her a lot of friends, because she’s really genuine.”

Ricky also says viewers can look forward to some gentle flirting between him and Rita, joking: “You’re in those chairs for a long time. You have to find something to do.”

He added: “She’s quite wild, she’s brought a different energy.”

Ricky and Rita will be joined on The Voice’s new series by returning coaches Sir Tom Jones and will.i.am.

The quartet are well aware that none of the programme’s three winners to date have made a huge impact on the music scene.

Ricky, though, appears relatively unconcerned by the wait for a major breakthrough, saying that people “keep coming because they want to be on this show – they know it’s not a superstar factory”.

The fourth series of The Voice starts at 7pm this Saturday. (Jan 10)