Piano sensation Lang Lang secretly judges ‘street players’ at UK railway stations in new TV series

Claudia Winkleman stands beside a piano at a train station
(Image credit: Channel 4)

Channel 4 has confirmed a UK air date for The Piano, a new reality show that will showcase the talents of unsuspecting pianists at railway stations around the UK.

Created by Love Productions, the company that produces The Great British Bake Off, the five-part series is hosted by the nationally treasurable Claudia Winkleman. Each episode takes place at a different station - London St Pancras, Leeds, Glasgow and Birmingham - each of which has its own public piano.

The hook is that the pianists won’t be told that not only are they being filmed, but they’re also being judged in secret by piano sensation Lang Lang and erstwhile popstar Mika, who’ll invite one performer from each station to play at a special concert at The Royal Festival Hall.

As well as their performances, we’re also told that we’ll hear the stories of the station platform pianists - this is a reality show, after all - who are said to range from “nonagenarians who have been playing for eighty years to twelve-year-olds who have never played in public before; those who taught themselves to play the classics in lockdown to players who feel the music, composing pieces about their life experiences; and someone with no sight who against all the odds has mastered Chopin.”

The lid goes up on The Piano on 15 February, when the first episode airs on Channel 4 at 9pm.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.