Joseph Washbourn and chart-topping band Toploader

ITV has today announced the line-up for their hit reality show, Pop Star to Opera Star, that sees musicians who have had pop music hits, train and compete in the entirely alien genre of classical music. Every Sunday on ITV1 after Britain’s Got Talent next month, the pop stars will be taken out of their comfort zone, having to the hit those big notes to win the public’s vote.

The contestants aiming to repeat the feats of Darius Campbell (Danesh) in the 2010 show will be Toploader frontman Joseph Washbourn, X Factor 2009 winner Joe McElderry, Ivor Novello winner Midge Ure, Erasure’s Andy Bell, the Pussycat Dolls’ Melody Thornton, skirt ripping Cheryl Baker, American R&B singer Jocelyn Brown and Steps’ Claire Richards.

Following an extended hiatus from music after selling over two million records worldwide, Joe Washbourn and Toploader are back this summer with a brand new album ‘Only Human’, seeing the melodic rock-pop four-piece back with an album that trails their journey back into the recording studio. Joe has stated that the band always felt that they had left some unfinished business and that this new album is the one they always wanted to make.

‘Only Human’ is released on 6th June and the first single, ‘A Balance To All Things’, will be available for download and in stores from 20th June 2011. Toploader consists of Joseph Washbourn (vocals + keys), Dan Hipgrave (guitar), Matt Knight (bass) and Rob Green (drums).

Washbourn said of his appearance on Pop Star to Opera Star:

“Everyone takes reality shows with a pinch of salt, but it is a great opportunity for me to just do what I love… sing, and challenge myself both vocally and emotionally to do something completely out of the ordinary. Pop Star to Opera Star has a brilliant line-up this year, although I’m competing against a virtual saint in Midge Ure… there is no way the big man upstairs will let me beat him!”

Fellow Toploader band member Dan Hipgrave added:

Joe has got a great voice and a big range so I’m sure he’ll nail it on Pop Star to Operastar. Me and the guys will be there in the studio watching him and are looking forward to seeing him in action. We’re all totally behind him and already have the bread rolls on order!

Toploader’s brand new album, ‘Only Human’ is out on 6th June on Underdogs Music.

Pop Star to Opera Star commences on Sunday 5th June on ITV1.