Soon sound-a-like singers will be saying “tonight Harry, I’m going to be….” as ITV revive another Saturday night classic with Stars In Their Eyes.
The series, which originally launched in 1990, is to return to ITV with new host Harry Hill. The comedian has proved a firm favourite with the channel’s audiences having fronted successful runs of telly clip show TV Burp and home video compilation series You’ve Been Framed!
“As well as an abundance of dry ice and sizzling new sliding doors, the hugely popular TV format will feature all-new extraordinary transformations and exceptional musical imitations. Emerging from the iconic doors, members of the public will take centre stage in a brand new arena, having been transformed into global music icons by the industry’s leading make-up and wardrobe stylists.” – ITV
Stars in their Eyes gave members of the public, with a passing sounding resemblance to a famous singer a chance to perform, dressed like the star, in front of a live studio audience. The production was launched by Granada Television with an unaired pilot hosted by Chris Tarrant, before a glossy showbiz make-over saw it launch with the late Leslie Crowther as host in 1990. It was second presenter Matthew Kelly however who became the most famous and long running of the hosts, with the catchphrase “tonight Matthew Im going to be…” becoming part of British popular culture.
“Without a doubt, appearing on Stars in their Eyes as Morrissey all those years ago (although beaten, unfairly in my view, by Kirsty Young’s Peggy Lee) was one of the highlights of my light entertainment career. So imagine the smile bought to my lips when I was asked by ITV at a secret breakfast meeting in a top London hotel to take the reigns of this Rolls-Royce of pop-impression talent shows and walk in the footsteps of showbiz giants Crowther, Kelly and Deeley! And on ITV too! Dust off the wigs and sequins – I’m coming home!” – Harry Hill
Stars in their Eyes ended in 2006 following the departure of Matthew Kelly two years earlier – ratings never were quite the same. Other presenters of the show included Russ Abbot for an ‘Elvis’ special, Davina McCall for celebrity specials and Cat Deeley for the final runs of the show. The pilot was fronted by Chris Tarrant. The new Harry Hill fronted series will be produced by Initial, an Endemol company, for ITV. Fans are hoping for a straight revamp and not ‘TV Burp meets S.I.T.E.’ With our telly expert Queenie Le Trout fearing the worst, “I can see there being comedy thrown in which will detract from the whole idea of the show, with the singers being play things for Hills comedy. That won’t sit well with the Saturday night telly fans. It’s all very well sending up such shows, but not in the slot or the night they actually air.”