All Star Musicals: Who’s appearing in ITV’s latest celebrity showtunes special – and what are they singing?

Six brave celebrities are stepping out of their comfort zones to take on some of the West End’s favourite musical theatre numbers. Who are they, and what might they be singing?

By Rhys Lewis Published: 28 March 2023 - 2.26am
ITV John Barrowman

The West End is heading back to the small screen this weekend as six stars take to the stage in the latest edition of ITV’s celebrity showtune showdown, All Star Musicals.

Alex Beresford, Jacqueline Jossa and Michaela Strachan are among the celebrities stepping out of their comfort zones to perform hit songs from musicals including Les Miserables, Hamilton, 42nd Street and Cabaret.

Tune into ITV at 7.30pm on Sunday, 3 April to find out which of the singers will follow in the footsteps of Catherine Tyldesley as All Star Musicals champion after the Coronation Street actress won with her performance of Memory in the Christmas 2021 edition.

Here, we tell you all need to know about All Star Musicals 2022, including the host, the mentors and the identity of the six celebrities taking part. And using our musical theatre knowledge and a bit of guesswork, we also reveal which songs we think they might be singing…

Who's taking part in All Star Musicals?

Danny Care

Danny Care ITV

How is he famous? Danny Care is an English international rugby player who played 84 times for his country at scrum half, scoring 14 tries, and more than 300 matches for his club, Harlequins.

What he said: “I kept it really quiet from the lads, I didn’t tell any of them I was doing it until I actually performed it. But I think it went alright,” Care said in an interview with Rugby Journal magazine.

“I was petrified at first. Then I learned the song and I got kind of comfortable and I was like, ‘OK, I actually really want to do this now’. And then I got to do it and I have never been more scared in my life. On a stage with people in the audience, filmed as live, cameras everywhere, with judges and it was, ‘Yeah, go and sing and dance’.

“I just thought, ‘What am I doing?’ But I got a great buzz from it and I’m really proud I did it. To get an opportunity to go and sing in a musical was pretty cool,”

What is he singing? Danny is performing a song from The Greatest Showman, the 2018 movie starring Hugh Jackman which is coming to the West End in 2023. The film has no end of showstoppers including A Million Dreams, Come Alive and From Now On, but we reckon Danny, in full ringmaster costume and accompanied by a cast of circus performers, will throw his hat into the ring with opening number The Greatest Show.

Jacqueline Jossa

Jacqueline Jossa ITV

How is she famous? Actress Jacqueline Jossa is best kown for playing Lauren Branning in EastEnders from 2010 to 2018, a role for which she won Best Newcomer at the NTAs and Best Actress at the Inside Soap Awards. In 2019 she was crowned Queen of the Jungle in the 19th series of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!

What she said: “One of my favourite things is watching musicals. To get a chance to be on the other side of that… It’s been a dream my whole life!

“I'd done a little bit of theatre 20-odd years ago, so it had been a long time! This is the first time I've actually sang a whole song on my own in front of a live audience.

“I loved my costume - I wanted to take it home and wear it every day! But I’d never sung this song before, and everybody knows it. If I mess up even four-year-olds will know! My daughters will be my harshest critics!

“I took every piece of advice from everyone we worked with. They unlocked a new part of my voice that I didn't even know I had. I’ve locked it all away for the future.”

What is she singing? Photos show Jacqueline in costume as Elsa from Frozen, Disney’s 2013 animated hit which is currently running as a musical in the West End. While Elsa does sing several new songs in the musical, the set and that ice blue dress suggest that Jacqueline can only be singing the iconic tune Let It Go – hitting that high note at the end is challenging enough without having current West End Elsa and All Star Musicals mentor Samantha Barks looking on.

Michaela Strachan

Michaela Strachan ITV

How is she famous? TV presenter Michaela Strachan rose to fame in the 1980s, co-hosting kids’ breakfast show Wide Awake Club as well as late-night music programme The Hitman and Her. After joining The Really Wild Show in 1993 she became associated with wildlife shows and has hosted Springwatch and Autumnwatch as well as Countryfile and Orangutan Diary.

All Star Musicals isn’t her first dip into celebrity competition – she appeared in ITV diving show Splash! in 2014. She’s also no stranger to singing, having released two singles under the name Michaela in 1989, though they only reached Nos. 62 and 66 respectively.

What she said: “I’m delighted with my wildlife TV path, but always wonder, what if? So, when I was asked to do this, I was super-excited.

“I am a huge fan of Musical Theatre so am super excited to be involved in ASM. As a wildlife presenter, I don't often get the chance to swap the walking boots and outdoor gear for something sparkly! I’m attempting to do something I haven’t done for over 30 years, spoiler alert, it's not the can can!

“I can’t say which song I did - but I will say that I tap-danced! And the costume is so different to what you’re used to seeing me in - there’s a curly wig. 

“I was the first to perform and was so nervous my leg started shaking. I think my days of hoping for a part in a West End musical have gone!”

What is she singing? Michaela is taking on a number from 1980 musical 42nd Street. The show features several memorable songs including We’re in the Money, Keep Young and Beautiful and Shuffle Off to Buffalo. But as the TV presenter has promised us some tap dancing, we think she’ll be singing – and hoofing away - to Lullaby of Broadway.

Colin Salmon

Colin Salmon ITV

How is he famous? Actor Colin Salmon is best known for appearing in two long-running film series, as James ‘One’ Shade in Resident Evil and as MI6 deputy Charles Robinson in three James Bond movies opposite Pierce Brosnan’s 007. Since making his debut in 1992 TV series Prime Suspect 2 he has also appeared in shows including Hex, Bad Girls, Law & Order: UK, 24: Live Another Day and Doctor Who.

What he said: “Who knew it would be so much fun learning to master the Master?” he said in an ITV statement, later telling the Radio Times podcast how he threw himself wholeheartedly into the performance.

“When you get into it, jump 100% into it and everybody around you, regardless of their ability, will just catch you and be with you because that’s all we want to see,” he said.

“With musical theatre, you give it 100% and everybody will help you get where you need to be. Don’t hold back. It’s one life. Sing it.”

What is he singing? Colin let the cat out of the bag with his quote about learning to master the Master – judging by the preview images he’ll be playing unscrupulous landlord Thenardier in a performance of Les Miserables’ bawdy comedy classic Master of the House.

Lisa George

Lisa George ITV

How is she famous? Lisa George has played Beth Tinker in Coronation Street since 2011. In 2020 she finished fifth in the 12th series of Dancing on Ice, but she does have experience in musical theatre – in 1997 she toured with a production of Prisoner: Cell Block H, the musical.

What she said: “All Star Musicals is a dream for me, both professionally and personally. The team have been so supportive and nurturing and I can't wait to take to the stage.

“I wanted to go into musical theatre, but my career took me into different avenues. When this came up I grabbed it with both hands!

“I won a singing scholarship in drama school, and have been a backing singer for Joe Longthorne, Little Richard and Chuck Berry. But I haven't sung in 10 years. I was rusty!

“It was brilliant to have vocal training again. This was a masterclass with the gods of musical theatre! I was more scared of the choreography because I can’t dance to save my life.”

What is she singing? Lisa gave a huge clue to her song choice when she posted an Instagram snap of herself as Sally Bowles from Cabaret, and with the movie of the Kander and Ebb stage show marking its 50 years in 2022, it’s a timely choice.

Star Liza Minelli made the film’s title song her own, but we can see Lisa belting out Sally’s heartbreaking hymn to lost love, Maybe This Time.

Alex Beresford

Alex Beresford ITV

How is he famous? Alex Beresford is best known as the weather presenter on ITV morning show Good Morning Britain and since March 2022 has presented the weather on the ITV Evening News programme. In August 2020, he co-hosted GMB for the first time, and he hit the headlines in March 2021 when his comments about host Piers Morgan’s reaction to Prince Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey led to a sulky Morgan storming off set.

Beresford took part in the 2018 series of Dancing On Ice and has also taken part in celebrity specials of The Chase, Ninja Warrior and Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

What he said: “There’s a fine line between panic and excitement, but I can’t wait to challenge myself and feel the thrill of performing a musical number in front of a crowd. The acoustics in my shower are very sympathetic.”

“They came with a couple of songs that they wanted me to try, and they came with one particular one,” the presenter told Metro

“I had second thoughts about doing the show, because you don’t want to go onstage and look stupid. Once I got over the shock that it’s that song, from that musical which is one of the most popular songs, I kind of got to grips with it.”

What is he singing? Beresford revealed that he’s heading back in time more than 200 years to sing a song from the hit musical Hamilton. But will he don the breeches of lead character Alexander Hamilton to sing - in a nod to his day job - Hurricane? Or will he slip on the frock coat of Hamilton’s nemesis Aaron Burr for The Room Where It Happens? It’s a big, bold, number, but we think he’ll tackle one of the show’s best known songs, My Shot.

Who are the hosts and mentors on All Star Musicals?

Trevor Dion Nicholas, Elaine Paige and Samantha Barks ITV

The four musical theatre performers who appeared on the show’s Christmas special return to All Star Musicals for this Easter outing. John Barrowman, top, resumes hosting duties while the panel of West End legends – who also mentor the celebrities - again comprises Trevor Dion Nicholas, Elaine Paige and Samantha Barks.

The quartet’s musical credits include:

John Barrowman: Phantom of the Opera; Anything Goes; Miss Saigon; Sunset Boulevard; Beauty and the Beast

Elaine Paige: Evita; Cats; Chess; Sunset Boulevard; Anything Goes; The King and I

Samantha Barks: Les Miserables; Oliver!; Cabaret; Frozen; Chess; Chicago; City of Angels

Trevor Dion Nicholas: Hamilton; Aladdin

What other performances will feature on All Star Musicals?

Phantom of the Opera ITV

ITV have promised two special performances on Sunday’s show – a song from musical favourite Grease featuring Barrowman, and a special performance from the cast of Phantom of the Opera, above, to mark its 35 years in the West End.

What happened in previous episodes of All Star Musicals?

This is the fifth All Star Musicals special to air on ITV. Coronation Street actress Lucy Fallon won the show’s first edition for her rendition of Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina from Evita. Other contestants included Tony Robinson, Rebecca Front, Nicky Campbell, Sally Phillips, Denise Lewis and Michael Parr.

Another Corrie star, Daniel Brocklebank, won the 2019 edition with a Greatest Showman song, From Now On. He beat Alan Titchmarsh, Martin Lewis, Tessa Peake Jones, Joel Dommett, London Hughes and Amy Walsh to the title.

TV judge Rob Rinder lit up 2021’s first show as singing candlestick Lumiere performing Beauty and the Beast’s Be Our Guest.  Dr Ranj Singh, Robert Peston, Barney Walsh, Jessica Hynes and Luisa Bradshaw-White also took to the stage.

The top prize went back to Coronation Street at Christmas 2021 when former Cobbles actress Catherine Tyldesley reduced Elaine Paige to tears of joy by performing Memory from Cats, a song Paige had made famous 40 years earlier. Other contestants included Ben Miller, Fern Britton, Gyles Brandreth, Anita Rani and Radzi Chinyanganya.

Watch All Star Musicals on ITV and ITV Hub at 7.30pm on Sunday, 3 April.