George Hutton, singer/songwriter from Derry~Londonderry, is determined to see 2018 out with a bang. In the last week alone he has launched his debut solo album, ‘Chapter One’ and has announced his role as a judge on BBC Talent Show, All Together Now, headed by former Spice Girl, Geri Halliwell.
As part of All Together now, Hutton features as one of ‘The 100’ judges as well as the only Irish judge to be offered the opportunity to participate in the show. The premise of the show is based on each act trying to get as many judges as possible to join in with their performance. If a judge likes what they hear, they simply push their buzzer and stand up. If not, they remain seated. The prize for the performer who gets as many judges on board with their performance is £50,000.
During the first series of the show, it racked up an average viewership of 3.5 million, becoming one of the most popular shows on during the Saturday night prime time television slot.
The opportunity for Hutton’s involvement emerged following his recent performance at the Irish embassy in London at an event organised by producer and CEO of Mediacon, Stephen McCormack. Unbeknownst to Hutton, his audience included BBC executives who, stunned by his a cappella performance of ‘Danny Boy’ and ‘The Parting Glass’, then offered him the judging position on All Together Now.
Hutton will first appear on the celebrity edition which airs on Christmas Eve featuring Omid Djalilii, Amber Davies, Tyger Drew-Honey, Chris Kamara, Alison Hammond, Laurie Brett, Ben Foden and Gemma Collins, all of whom will be judges by ‘The 100’ musical expert judges. The second series of the show will officially launch in January where Hutton will continue his participation in the show.
Describing All Together Now, he said, “It’s a very fun and family friendly show, with an incredible panel of judges, from Britain’s Got Talent winners, Eurovision representatives, X-Factor finalists, opera singers, world class caberet and musical theatre performers. All bases and background of music are well and truly covered so there is nowhere to hide for the contestants.”
Whether we can expect to see Hutton on our screens much more, he’s feeling optimistic.
“TV has always found me if I’m being honest. The opportunities have come from someone seeing me perform or when I’ve been modelling for Assets. There’s another very exciting project in the mix which will revolve around my hometown of Derry, but unfortunately that’s all I can say at the minute. I’ve always loved the camera and performing, it’s where I’ve always felt most comfortable.”
In between filming which took place in Manchester from September and October, George was busy recording his first solo album ‘Chapter One’, made up of 11 tracks with a combination of traditional Irish music and original tracks.
“Balancing the album and ATN required a huge amount of planning, but it was worth it! When you’re working with a world class producer like Paul Casey, who has engineered some of Chris Rea’s work you know you’re on safe hands.”
While he is best known for his role within ‘The Five Irish Tenors’, an opportunity that afforded him a sold out US tour in 2017 along with his numerous European tours with renowned ensemble, ‘Anuna’ where he sang alongside Hozier, ‘Chapter One’ marks George’s first solo venture.
Speaking on his first solo venture he said, ”The time was right to go out on my own and after all the experience gained from touring with Anúna and The Five Irish Tenors, I was ready. The album is a reflection of the journey I’ve had so far, so in many ways the timing of it couldn’t have been better. I’m a front man as well, so in that respect as much as I enjoyed singing in groups, I’m my own man, my own artist and it wouldn’t be possible for me to reflect that in a group”
The album was recorded at Paul Casey’s Cable Junction Studio in Derry and has already received critical acclaim from JOE.ie and reached a high of 47 in the Official iTunes Singer/Songwrtier Charts upon its release on 7th December 2018.
What’s next for the singer/songwriter?
“I’m looking forward to touring the US in February/March 2019 and working on various projects including my own UK/Irish tour. Alongside that I’ll be working with Paul on a lot of new original material which I can’t wait to get stuck into!”
It’s safe to say 2018 has been a good year for George Hutton and 2019 looks set to be even better.
All Together Now celebrity special airs on BBC1, Christmas Eve at 7:15pm.