Stars in Their Eyes

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Stars in Their Eyes
GenreTalent show
Created byJoop van den Ende
Henny Huisman
Based onSoundmixshow
Presented byLeslie Crowther (1990–1992)
Russ Abbot (1993 Elvis special)
Matthew Kelly (1993–2004)
Davina McCall (2003 specials)
Cat Deeley (2003–2006)
Harry Hill (2015)
Voices ofPeter Dickson
Sally Lindsay
Andrew Brittain
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series17 (main series)
4 (kids series)
No. of episodes172 (main series)
33 (kids series) (list of episodes)
Production location(s)Granada Studios (1990–2006)
Elstree Studios (2015)
Running time30 minutes (1990–93)
45 minutes (1994–2006)
65 minutes (2015)
Production company(s)Granada in association with J. E. Entertainment and Action Time (1990–2006)
Initial (2015)
DistributorITV Studios
Endemol UK
Original networkITV
Picture format4:3 (1990–2000)
16:9 (2001–06, 2015)
Original releaseOriginal series
21 July 1990 (1990-07-21) – 23 December 2006 (2006-12-23)
Revived series
January 10 (10-01) –
14 February 2015 (2015-02-14)
Related showsYour Face Sounds Familiar
External links
Official website
Production website

Stars in Their Eyes is a British television talent series, based on Joop van den Ende’s Dutch format Soundmixshow. It featured a singing contest in which members of the public impersonate showbiz stars. Each contestant would walk through ‘smoky’ doors before instantly reappearing dressed up as their chosen star. A number of celebrity specials and a children's spin-off series have also aired during the original run.

The show premiered on 21 July 1990 and ran until 23 December 2006. It was produced by Granada for ITV and originally presented by Leslie Crowther. Matthew Kelly took over in May 1993, before he was replaced by Cat Deeley in 2004. An Elvis Presley special hosted by Russ Abbot aired in January 1993, as well as 2003 specials hosted by Davina McCall. A six-part revival hosted by Harry Hill ran from 10 January 2015 to 14 February 2015, before it was reported on 17 April that it had been axed by ITV due to low ratings.[1]

It remains one of Britain's most successful shows of all time, attracting around 13 million viewers for the live grand final at the end of each series. It has one of the most memorable catchphrases in TV history: ‘Tonight (presenter name), I'm going to be...’ and was named most popular entertainment show at the National Television Awards in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000.

The most impersonated stars are Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, Cher, George Michael, Celine Dion, Kylie Minogue and Madonna.


In February 1990, Leslie Crowther was chosen as the host of the show which began airing on 21 July 1990. Crowther hosted the first three series, and a Christmas Special in 1991. At the time of his car accident in October 1992, he was booked to record an Elvis Presley special hosted by Russ Abbot and a fourth series hosted by Matthew Kelly in 1993.

It then became apparent that Crowther would not be able to return and he later died in 1996. Therefore, Kelly hosted the show until 13 March 2004. However, in January 2003 Kelly was arrested by police over allegations of child sex abuse resulting in Davina McCall temporarily hosting the show before Kelly returned in August 2003 after the charges were dropped. Kelly also hosted the 2001 pilot episode and first series of the kids version (in 2002).

Cat Deeley, who previously took over as host of the kids version in 2003, was Kelly's replacement for the final adult series in 2005. Deeley also hosted a number of specials in 2004. Deeley hosted the show until its final episode in December 2006.


Stars in Their Eyes is a talent show where contestants get the chance to appear and sing live as a famous singer. The show is most importantly a 'soundalike' show, but they are also dressed up to look as close as possible to the singer they are impersonating, often with wigs and heavy makeup.



The contestants appear firstly as themselves, talking briefly to the host about their lives and giving clues as to who they are going to be performing as, finishing with the now famous catchphrase 'Tonight [presenter name] I'm going to be...' The contestants then disappear through the equally famous doors, and reappear as the famous singer they are going to impersonate about five minutes later.

At the end of the show, the studio audience vote for their favourite, and the winner is announced. The winners from each show in the series return for the grand final to perform once more.

Grand Final[edit]


In the original Leslie Crowther version, the grand finals were pre-recorded and the winner of the whole series was voted for by the studio audience.


When Matthew Kelly took over, the grand finals were broadcast live and the winner of the whole series was voted for by the viewing public through the phone lines and in some years online as well. The winner was announced later on that same evening in a separate broadcast.

The same process applied during Cat Deeley's tenure as host.


Harry Hill took over on 10 January 2015, with all episodes pre-recorded by BBC Studios and Post Production at the BBC's Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, and the winner of each show again voted for by the studio audience. The revival proved divisive - fans of the original format were critical of it, saying that Harry Hill had made the show about him rather than the contestants; while others acknowledged that the revival was a post-modern parody of the original, with its knowing ridicule of talent show cliches such as terrible performances being overpraised, and the actions of the presenter receiving high editorial focus to distract from the outdated performance element being thinly stretched.[2] Each episode features Harry being pursued by Adele (really a look-alike) for being in possession of her baby and she would comically chase him until she got the baby back.

In April 2015, it was announced that due to poor viewing figures, ITV would not be renewing the show for another series, and it was axed.[3]

Episode guide[edit]





See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Harry Hill's Stars in Their Eyes: Has it been axed by ITV?". Digital Spy. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Tonight, Harry, I'm Going to be A Post-Postmodern Nightmare: The Dismal Return of 'Stars in their Eyes'". Vice. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  3. ^ "Harry Hill's Stars In Their Eyes axed after one series". Metro. Retrieved 17 April 2015.

External links[edit]