Stars in their Eyes is being brought back and Harry Hill has been approached to host it. It’s been seven years since the show was taken off the air. Last year’s “Your Face Sounds Familiar” was an attempted remake of Stars in Their Eyes but it failed dismally and was discontinued. Will the new Stars in Their Eyes do better?
Exclusive: ITV is set to revive its celebrity-impersonation karaoke show, Stars in Their Eyes, with comedian Harry Hill as the new presenter.
The show was originally based on a Dutch format, and I understand that this new version is coming from the independent production company Endemol, which was originally co-founded by the Dutch TV formats guru John de Mol.
Stars in Their Eyes, which was a massive hit in the 1990s, would be the latest in a long line of light-entertainment revivals for ITV, which is Britain’s biggest commercial TV channel. The show has been off the air for eight years, after a final Christmas celebrity special in 2006.
ITV’s revival machine has also commissioned a non-broadcast pilot of a new version of Name That Tune, made by indie Znak Jones, and Celebrity Squares is set to return too. ITV has already revived Catchphrase, Surprise Surprise, Family Fortunes, Mr and Mrs and Through the Keyhole.
In its heyday, Stars in Their Eyes attracted stratospheric audiences – sometimes over 20million viewers. Its longest-serving presenter was Matthew Kelly, who fronted the show from 1993 to 2004. The show’s catchphrase was ‘Tonight, Matthew, I’m going to be…’, which each contestant would say before adding the name of the star they were going to imitate, disappearing in a puff of smoke, and then reappearing as their chosen celebrity.
Stars in Their Eyes would be Harry Hill’s first major TV project since the demise of another ITV show, Harry Hill’s TV Burp, which ended in April 2012. However it would not be his first appearance on Stars in Their Eyes: he took part in a celebrity special of the programme in 1999, impersonating Morrissey and singing This Charming Man.
Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph in August 2012, Hill said of potential future TV projects: ‘I want to hold fire for a while. Following TV Burp is a bit like following Dark Side Of The Moon. It’s got to be really, really good.’
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ITV bosses will also be looking closely at the ratings for the US version of Rising Star, when it premieres on ABC this weekend. ITV has bought the UK rights to the format, for possible transmission also in winter 2015, and will want the reassurance that it is a hit in America.