Starstruck: The Stars in Their Eyes format is given a makeover and comes out singing with help from Olly Murs, Sheridan Smith and Co.

With The X Factor ending, ITV has revamped its popular 90s show Stars in Their Eyes – giving contestants the chance to perform as their musical heroes on prime-time TV.

By James Descombes Published: 10 February 2022 - 11.36pm
ITV Olly Murs and Team Lady Gaga in Starstruck on ITV

For much of the 90s and early 00s, Stars in Their Eyes ruled the roost when it came to weekend TV talent shows. With Matthew Kelly presenting and a killer catchphrase to boot – “Tonight Matthew, I’m going to be…” – the show attracted around 13 million viewers for each of its grand finals and cemented itself as one of the country’s best-loved shows.

But the likes of Pop Idol, The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent ushered in a new type of talent show and put those coveted weekend evening slots in a stranglehold for much of the 00s and 10s.

Now ITV is bringing the show back to its Saturday night line-up – with a new format, new judges and a new name – Starstruck. 

Sheridan Smith talks about new ITV show Starstruck 

What is Starstruck?

Starstruck is a new Saturday night talent show based on the popular 90s programme Stars in Their Eyes. In this revamped version, contestants leave their day jobs behind to dress up and perform as their favourite singers in a bid to win the judges and audience’s vote.

But this time the contestants won’t take to the stage alone. Each episode will see four different musical acts performed by three singers at the same time. The judging panel will then need to decide which musical act is the best. The winning team will compete against each other for a place in the grand final where the overall winner will walk away with £50,000.

The first episode sees 12 contestants performing as Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, Marvin Gaye and Freddie Mercury.

Contestants will also be performing as these superstars throughout the series: Elton John, Tina Turner, Rag’n’Bone Man, Billie Eilish and Ed Sheeran.

Is there a Starstruck trailer?

Yes, get a glimpse of Starstruck below.

Who are the Starstruck judges? 

Adam Lambert, Sheridan Smith, Olly Murs, Beverley Knight and Jason Manford in Starstruck ITV

The Starstruck judges are:

* Adam Lambert

* Sheridan Smith

* Beverley Knight

* Jason Manford

Starstruck is presented by Olly Murs and it’s a show he’s loved being a part of, as he explains:

“It feels amazing – I'm absolutely loving it. I always wanted to do something new and find something that matches my personality, something where I can be me and cheeky. I wanted it to be something light-hearted and entertaining.

“I think that’s where Starstruck ticks all of the boxes. It was a match made in heaven in terms of what I wanted to do. It’s just a fun show to be a part of and everyone on it is great to work with.”

Adam Lambert

Adam Lambert and Sheridan Smith Starstruck ITV

Adam Lambert is an American singer who finished runner-up in the 2009 series of American Idol. He’s since gone on to sell millions of albums worldwide and has become the lead vocalist for Queen + Adam Lambert.  

Explaining why he thinks audiences are going to love Starstruck, Lambert comments:

“I think that everybody that watches Starstruck is going to have a great time. There’s something for everybody, there’s something for all music tastes and all ages which is really exciting and I think that it’s really easy to see yourself in the show.

“I mean these are regular people that work regular day jobs that are getting to live out their fantasy which is really exciting.”

Sheridan Smith

Sheridan Smith 2021 David M. Benett

Sheridan Smith OBE is an award-winning actress who’s lit up stages and screens with powerful performances in the likes of Legally Blonde (on stage), No Return (ITV) and The Teacher (Channel 5).  

Giving us the lowdown on what type of judge she is, Smith explains:

“I think I am the easily pleased judge if I'm honest. I take my hat off to all of them, I’m nervous just sitting in the chair and the stage is epic. These are people who are a mechanic by day and Elton John by night, to me it’s mind-blowing that they can do that, so I'm in awe of them. Their families must be so proud, I’m just on my feet, I’m almost like a proud mum.

“I am so behind them all and I want them to do well, I know what a big thing it is to step out on the stage, in front of the nation as well. I guess as the actress, who has played roles like Cilla, I’m looking for more mannerisms and embodying the character, not just sounding alike. A lot of people can do caricatures of people whereas I’m kind of more about the little details and that’s kind of my role.”

Beverley Knight

Beverley Knight 2021 Darren Bell / Getty

Beverley Knight MBE is one of Britain’s best-loved and most successful soul singers, with three MOBO Awards to her name. Knight has also starred in a number of West End shows including The Bodyguard, Memphis, and Cats.

Speaking on her role on the panel, Knight comments:

“I’m the vocal nerd of the four of us. I’ve spent my life listening to vocals, listening to tone, listening to vocal mannerisms and what people do and why it makes them them. This show appeals to that side of me so much I cannot even tell you.

“I can go into the detail of talking about great singers and their voices and I get to do that every show. I can go off on one about how wonderful someone's voice is and why people produce the sound that they do. For me, it’s heaven.”

Jason Manford

Jason Manford 2022 Getty Images

Jason Manford is an award-winning comedian, popular presenter, actor and singer. He was a team captain on the Channel 4 panel show 8 Out of 10 Cats, presented The One Show, and came second on The Masked Singer in 2020 as the Hedgehog. He has starred in West End shows including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Sweeny Todd, and Guys and Dolls.

Speaking about what he brings to the Starstruck panel, Manford says:

“I like to think that I’m a bit of a laugh. I hope to not be taking it too seriously and enjoy the fun of it all. But at the same time, I love music and I’m a singer and actor as well, so I’ll be looking at how good people are at getting into their roles and the character they’re going to become.”

When can I watch Starstruck?

Starstruck starts Saturday 12 February at 8.30pm on ITV and ITV Hub.