WHEN Si Genaro auditioned for hit TV series The Voice he never expected to make it off the starting block.

But tonight the 42-year-old, who quit his job as a driver to focus on his singing career, will appear on national television in front of some of the biggest names in music as he bids to make it into the big time.

Usually found gigging around Southampton, where he has played at The Joiners, Talking Heads, The Brook and Orange Rooms, Si is a well-known face on the local music scene.

He’s more used to doing the judging than being judged himself, as he runs a regular open mic night in Bournemouth.

But this evening the tables will be turned when he will perform for a judging panel that includes American rapper Will.i.am, Kylie Minogue, Welsh crooner Sir Tom Jones and Kaiser Chiefs singer Ricky Wilson.

Si said: “I have never done a talent show before. I went into it for a giggle because my friend was doing it as well. When I got the call and found out I’d be on the show I was just flabbergasted.”

Si started his musical life as a harmonica player and began singing at 24 when his friend asked him to front a band called Shape-shifter.

Since then he has played with many different bands, and in 2009 he supported David Essex on his UK tour.

His musical inspirations are The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Marley, Radiohead and Stevie Wonder, but he also has obscure influences like Maltese singer-songwriter Martin Grech.

Speaking about the judges he said: “Kylie is so pretty and you do not realise how short she is in real life.

“Will.i.am is such an inspirational character, he is such an ideas man and has a brain that runs at a million miles an hour, and Tom Jones is a legend and he can still really belt it out, while meeting Ricky Wilson was amazing as I love the Kaiser Chiefs.”

The Voice is shown at 7pm tonight on BBC One.