The new series of The Voice has hit its first hurdle with host Darren McMullen unable to get behind the wheel in Australia after allegedly being caught driving without a valid licence.
The Los Angeles-based presenter was instead using his Californian permit which police say did not allow him to drive on New South Wales roads.
Channel Nine revealed last month McMullen would return this year to host the next season of the musical talent show he fronted from 2012 to 2015, alongside TV personality Renee Bargh.
McMullen will be joined by returning judges Kelly Rowland, Boy George, Guy Sebastian and Delta Goodrem, with whom he reportedly had a brief relationship in 2012.
The 37-year-old was listed at Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court for a driving offence on Friday but did not appear.
McMullen was in Sydney on Sunday when he and Bargh, as well as Goodrem, Rowland, George and Sebastian dined at Bondi Icebergs ahead of the new season of The Voice.
The star of television series House Husbands and the rebooted SeaChange has been charged with driving while his New South Wales licence application was refused.
McMullen was allegedly nabbed by Eastern Suburbs highway patrol officers about 8.30am on November 7 at Double Bay.
He allegedly does not have a valid NSW licence and was instead relying on his Californian permit to drive on Australian roads.
Prominent criminal defence lawyer Michael Bowe appeared for McMullen on Friday and said his client would be entering a plea one way or the other when he next faced court.
The Glasgow-born talent, who turns 38 on Monday, was seen on Australian screens late last year when he appeared as ‘The Prawn’ in the first season of the top-rating Masked Singer Australia.
McMullen announced on January 24 he was delighted to be returning to The Voice, which he previously hosted with Sonia Kruger and Faustina Agolley.
‘Time to dust off the suits, I’m coming back to @thevoiceau to host with my long time pal @reneebargh,’ McMullen wrote on Instagram.
‘We’ve known each other since MySpace was cool but never had the chance to work together. This gonna be fun!’
McMullen met Goodrem during his first stint hosting The Voice and the pair was spotted kissing at a Lady Gaga concert in Sydney in June 2012.
‘We were just two young single people who would hold hands occasionally,’ he has said.
‘Delta Goodrem and I were never in a confirmed relationship. We liked each other and hung out and now we are close friends.
No air date has been announced for the upcoming series of the program, which will air later this year, but filming started this week.
McMullen’s court case was adjourned until February 14.