Stars in Their Eyes is a British television talent show that originally ran on Saturday nights from 21 July 1990 until 23 December 2006 in which contestants impersonate showbiz stars. It was produced by Granada for ITV and based on Joop van den Ende's Dutch format, Soundmixshow. A revived version by Harry Hill, began airing on 10 January 2015 until 14 February 2015, it was reported on 17 April it had been axed by ITV due to poor ratings.[1]

It remains one of Britain's most successful shows, 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 later became apparent that Crowther would not be able to return. Thereafter, 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 (The word 'singer' could be used loosely as in 1997 Julian Clary who is not known for his vocal skills was impersonated on the show by Steve Edward).

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


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 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





International versions

Country Name Channel Hosts Broadcast
 Belgium VTM soundmixshow VTM Bart Kaëll
Kürt Rogiers (2000)
 Denmark Stjerneskud TV3 Anders Frandsen 1995
 Italy Re per una notte Italia 1 Gigi Sabani 1994–96
Momenti di gloria Canale 5 Mike Bongiorno 1999–2000
Sei un mito Roberta Capua 2005
È nata una stella gemella Lorella Cuccarini 2008
 Netherlands Soundmixshow KRO (1985–89)
RTL 4 (1990–2002)
Henny Huisman 1985–2002
 Norway Med blikket mot stjernene TV3 Ragnar Otnes 1995
Stjerner i sikte TV 2 Jahn Teigen 1996–99
 New Zealand Stars in Their Eyes TV One Simon Barnett 2008–09
 Portugal Chuva de Estrelas SIC Catarina Furtado (1993–94)
José Nuno Martins (1995–96)
Bárbara Guimarães (1997–2000)
 Spain Lluvia de estrellas Antena 3 Bertín Osborne 1995–2001
La 1 Sonia Ferrer 2007
 Sweden Sikta mot stjärnorna TV4 Lasse Holm (1994–97)
Agneta Sjödin (1999–2000, 2002)
Paul Tilly (2002)

Antena 3 created a similar format, under the title Tu cara me suena, in 2011. A UK version of this was produced by ITV in 2013.

See also


External links