Stars in Their Eyes

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Stars in Their Eyes
Also known as
  • Starstruck
GenreTalent show
Created byJoop van den Ende
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)
Olly Murs (2022–present)
Voices ofAndrew Brittain
Peter Dickson
Sally Lindsay
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series18 (main series)
4 (kids series)
No. of episodes176 (main series)
33 (kids series) (list of episodes)
Running time30 minutes (1990–93)
45 minutes (1994–2006)
65 minutes (2015)
75 minutes (2022–present)
Production companiesGranada / ITV Studios in association with
  • J. E. Entertainment and Action Time (1990–2006)
  • Initial (2015)
  • Remarkable Television (2022)
DistributorITV Studios (Original series)
Endemol UK (Revival series)
Endemol Shine UK (Starstruck)
Original networkITV
Picture format4:3 (1990–2000)
16:9 (2001–06, 2015 and 2022–present)
Original release21 July 1990 (1990-07-21) –
Related showsStars in Their Eyes: Kids

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.

The show premiered on 21 July 1990 and initially 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 April 2004. An Elvis Presley special hosted by Russ Abbot aired in January 1993, as well as 2003 specials hosted by Davina McCall. A number of celebrity specials and a children's spin-off series were also aired during the original run.

A six-part revival hosted by Harry Hill aired from 10 January 2015 to 14 February 2015, but it was later axed by ITV due to low ratings and poor reviews.[1] Another revival began airing on 12 February 2022, this time in a reformatted in name only version titled Starstruck, hosted by Olly Murs.


A series of non-televised pilots were filmed in 1989 hosted by Chris Tarrant.[2] However, 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 (which was later hosted by Russ Abbot) and a fourth series (later hosted by Matthew Kelly) in 1993.[3]

It then became clear that Crowther would not be able to return. He announced his retirement from showbusiness in November 1994 and died 2 years later. Therefore, Kelly hosted the show until the live grand final of the 15th series on 13 March 2004.[4] Kelly announced a few days earlier that he would quit the show in order to pursue his acting career full-time.[5] Kelly also hosted the 2001 pilot episode,[6] and first series of the kids version in 2002.[7]

In January 2003, Kelly was arrested by police over allegations of child sex abuse resulting in Davina McCall temporarily guest hosting the show for three celebrity specials that were broadcast the following month.[8] Kelly returned after the charges were dropped.[9]

Cat Deeley, who previously took over as host of the kids' version in 2003,[10] was Kelly's replacement for the final adult series in 2005.[11] Deeley also hosted several celebrity specials in 2004.[12] In June 2006, ITV denied reports that the series was facing the axe although admitted that the future of the show was being discussed.[13][14] Deeley hosted the show until its final episode in December 2006; the show was then axed by ITV.

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

2015 revival[edit]

Harry Hill took over as host on 10 January 2015, with all episodes pre-recorded 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.[15] 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.[16]

2022 revival/reformat version: Starstruck[edit]

In March 2020, it was reported that ITV would replace The X Factor with a second revival/reformat of Stars in Their Eyes later in the year, however this time with a celebrity panel of judges.[17][18] In December 2020, new reports suggested that ITV would revive the show in Autumn 2021, under the new name of Starstruck, with Sheridan Smith, Adam Lambert, Beverley Knight and Jason Manford as judges.[19] In April 2021, it was reported that Olly Murs would host the show.[20] The show was finally scheduled for February 2022, with the change to the format being that three 'tribute artists' will perform at the same time as each other, with four different music acts covered each week. Six 75 minute programmes have been ordered by the network along with a 90 minute final which will see the winner get £50,000.[21]


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. Each contestant would walk through 'smoky' doors before instantly reappearing dressed up as their chosen star.


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, seemingly instantly.

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 & Live Grand Final[edit]

1990–1992, 2015[edit]

In the original Leslie Crowther version and 2015 revival, the grand finals were pre-recorded, and the winner of the whole series was voted for by the studio audience at the end of the show. The first series final in 1990 also had a celebrity panel, consisting of Joe Longthorne, Sally Dynevor and Pete Waterman, who gave their opinions after each performance.[22]


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 later years online as well. The winner was announced later that same evening in a separate broadcast.

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

Episode guide[edit]


Regular series[edit]

Junior series[edit]


  • Series 1 (2022) – Rachael Hawnt as Cher



Ratings and awards[edit]

It is still 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 Matthew, I'm going to be...’ and was named Most Popular Entertainment Programme at the National Television Awards in 1996, 1998,[33] 1999[34] and 2000.[35] The show was nominated for the same award again in 1997, 2001[36] and 2002[37] but lost out to other ITV shows (An Evening With Lily Savage in 1997, My Kind of Music in 2001 and Pop Idol in 2002).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Harry Hill's Stars in Their Eyes: Has it been axed by ITV?". Digital Spy. 17 April 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  2. ^ "BFI Screenonline: Tarrant, Chris (1946–) Biography". Screenonline. British Film Institute. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Tonight Mathew I'm Going To Be..." British Classic Comedy. 12 May 2018. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Street trio bid farewell to Kelly". BBC News. BBC. 14 March 2004. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  5. ^ Wilkes, Neil (9 March 2004). "Kelly quits 'Stars in their Eyes'". Digital Spy.
  6. ^ "Youngsters get their big break; Stars In Their Eyes: Kids Special ITV, 8.15pm". Daily Record. Trinity Mirror. 21 July 2001. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  7. ^ "Stars In Their Eyes: Kids 2002". 5 September 2002. Retrieved 17 March 2020 – via
  8. ^ Wilkes, Neil (17 January 2003). "McCall stands in on 'Stars in Their Eyes'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  9. ^ "Police drop Kelly abuse inquiry". BBC News. 24 February 2003.
  10. ^ "Deeley takes Kelly's Stars role". 12 March 2003. Retrieved 17 March 2020 – via
  11. ^ Wilkes, Neil (18 February 2005). "Cat Deeley quits 'CD:UK'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  12. ^ "Kelly to quit Stars in Their Eyes". Irish Examiner. 13 March 2004. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  13. ^ Dowell, Ben (1 June 2006). "Stars in Their Eyes awaits ITV's verdict". Retrieved 17 March 2020 – via
  14. ^ Singh, Anita (2 June 2006). "Final bow for 'Stars in Their Eyes'?". The Independent. Archived from the original on 24 May 2022. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  15. ^ "Tonight, Harry, I'm Going to be A Post-Postmodern Nightmare: The Dismal Return of 'Stars in their Eyes'". Vice. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  16. ^ "Harry Hill's Stars in Their Eyes axed after one series". Metro. 17 April 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  17. ^ Cremona, Patrick (14 March 2020). "Stars in their Eyes could be set to make surprise return to screens this Autumn". Radio Times. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  18. ^ Bray, Abbie (15 March 2020). "Rylan wants Jane McDonald to host Stars in Their Eyes amid reboot claims". Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  19. ^ Darvill, Josh (25 November 2020). "Stars In Their Eyes is set to return (again) with a new name". TellyMix.
  20. ^ Tonks, Owen (5 April 2021). "Olly Murs to front Stars in Their Eyes reboot Starstruck". Metro.
  21. ^ "Starstruck: Trailer for New Itv Singing Competition". 16 January 2022.
  22. ^ "Third time lucky for Stars in their Eyes on ITV?". 14 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  23. ^ "A kind of magic for Stars winner". BBC News. BBC. 21 May 2000. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  24. ^ Lister, Mark (22 May 2000). "Freddie beat Big C; Op saved Stars In Their Eyes winner". The Mirror. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  25. ^ "Stars win for opera diva". BBC News. BBC. 3 December 2000. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  26. ^ "Dusty dazzles as Stars winner". BBC News. BBC. 15 July 2001. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  27. ^ "Stars winner looks ahead". BBC News. BBC. 28 April 2002. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  28. ^ "Gordon wins European Elvis title". 10 January 2011. Retrieved 17 March 2020 – via
  29. ^ "Teenager wins TV talent show". BBC News. BBC. 7 October 2002. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  30. ^ "Starry-eyed Laura wins". Liverpool Echo. Trinity Mirror. 2 June 2003. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  31. ^ "Teenage singer Ashlea Pearson is looking forward to a career in showbusiness, despite failing to win a public vote in a TV talent contest". The Journal. Trinity Mirror. 17 May 2004. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  32. ^ "Stars in Their Eyes". Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  33. ^ "Barrymore makes it four in TV awards". BBC News. 28 October 1998. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  34. ^ "Thaw's double TV victory". BBC News. 27 October 1999. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  35. ^ "National Television Awards: The winners". BBC News. 10 October 2000. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  36. ^ "Top TV nomination for Barrymore". BBC News. 9 October 2001. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  37. ^ "National TV awards: 2002 shortlist". BBC News. 15 October 2002. Retrieved 12 November 2010.

External links[edit]