Never a channel to shy away from the chance of a nostalgia headline, leading UK commercial broadcaster ITV have officially announced an upcoming return for former Saturday night entertainment staple Stars in their Eyes.
The format, originally broadcast by ITV from 1990-2006 as an adaptation of Dutch format Soundmixshow, ran for 20 seasons that will be added to with the continuation as of next year, meaning it will have had a 9-year gap from the air.
A high-profile revival such of this out of nostalgia is usually made with an all-new presenter, and in this instance it is comedian Harry Hill (Harry Hill’s TV Burp) who will make his mark once more on prime-time entertainment by fronting the classic series.
The format, for the uninitiated, is a musical talent show in which members of the public participate in the guise of their favourite popstars with the support of industry-leading makeup/wardrobe artists, and performing a song ‘as’ them, with the ‘instant’ on-screen transformation preceded by the show’s catchphrase “Tonight Harry, I’m going to be [singer].”
Previous presenters to have this regular scripted reply given to them were Leslie Crowther, Matthew Kelly, Davina McCall and Cat Deeley, making Hill the fifth person to present the show in its history.
For the revival, a new arena and set is to be used, although the dates in 2015 which it will be seen on are currently unclear, as are the details of whether or not the contestants are singing for anything more than a title this time around.
Hill said of the opportunity, and of his past experiences with the franchise: “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!”
Elaine Bedell, ITV ‘director of entertainment & comedy’, summarised: “It’s so good to have Harry back in the heart of ITV peak time, bringing his own unique, brilliantly comic flair to such a popular show. We love working with Harry at ITV, and we’re also developing further formats with the BAFTA award-winning comedian.”
Joining the likes of Catchphrase and Surprise Surprise in the comeback circle, will Stars in Their Eyes be able to recapture their glory days with a 2015 revival? Whatever happens, the technological standards will have improved… for better or worse:
If several of these renewed formats can be aired on the same night, then ITV have a nice potential programming block on their hands, but do they have the strength to take the extra 90′s step? By 90′s we mean 90′s, as opposed to Sky’s commendable ‘modern but not the same’ effort: