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Stars in Their Eyes

Stars in Their Eyes was a British television talent show from 21 July 1990 to 7 January 2006 in which contestants impersonate showbiz stars. It is made by Granada Television for ITV, based on Joop van den Ende's Dutch format, The Soundmixshow.

It remains one of the UK'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 Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard, Cher, George Michael and Madonna.


Stars in Their Eyes is a talent show where contestants get the chance to appear and sing, 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 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 (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 series finale, the live grand final.

In the live grand final, the winners of each show return and perform once more. At the end of the performances, the phone lines open and the viewing public get the chance to phone in and vote for their favourite. The winner is announced later the same evening in a separate broadcast.

Over the years the show has seen a lot of changes: changes from the 1990 set; new set in 1998 and the newest set in 2002; the logo has also changed over the years. There have been four hosts: Leslie Crowther, Russ Abbot (one-off emergency host after Leslie's car accident), Matthew Kelly,and Cat Deeley. There have been several spin-off versions of the show as well, including:

  • Stars in Their Eyes Elvis Special
  • Stars in Their Eyes Kids
  • Celebrity Stars in Their Eyes
  • Christmas Stars in Their Eyes
  • Coronation Street Stars in Their Eyes and
  • Stars In Euro Eyes.

Previous winners

Original format

Year Name of contestant Appeared on the show as... Votes polled in the final
1990 Maxine Barry Shirley Bassey 27,119
1991 Bernie Wenton Nat King Cole 35,585
1992 Amanda Normansell Patsy Cline 44,602
1993 Jacqui Cann Alison Moyet 40,657
1994 John Finch Marti Pellow 150,255
1995 Lee Griffiths Bobby Darin 177,757
1996 Paul Doody Marti Pellow 178,212
1997 Faye Dempsey Olivia Newton-John 287,436
1998 Jason Searle Neil Diamond 205,333
1999 Ian Moor Chris de Burgh 501,868
2000 Gary Mullen Freddie Mercury 864,838
2000 Nicola Kirsch Maria Callas 474,146
2001 Emma Wilkinson Dusty Springfield 204,970
2002 Stewart Duff Elvis Presley 240,731
2004 Charles Ngandwe Paul Robeson 144,468
2005 Gordon Hendricks Elvis Presley 84,895

Stars in Their Eyes Champion of Champions

In October 1999, the first 10 series winners were brought together for a 10-year anniversary special, called the Champion of Champions.
This show was won by the 10th series winner, Ian Moor as Chris de Burgh with a total of 481,525 votes.

Stars in Their Eyes Kids

Stars in Their Eyes Kids shows debuted as a one-off show in 2001. This was followed in 2002 by a seven-part series. which was won by Charlotte Gethin as Eva Cassidy, who beat kids mimicking Donny Osmond, Irene Cara, Millie Small, Nelly Furtado and Robbie Williams in the final.

Stars in Their Eyes Kids 2003 was won by Laura Jenkins, as Connie Francis, with a total of 156,455 votes.

Stars in Their Eyes Kids 2004, was won by Paul Cowperthwaite as Michael Jackson singing ABC, with a total of 61,877 votes.

Stars in Their Eyes Kids 2006, was won by Christopher Napier as George Formby

Stars In Euro Eyes

Stars in Euro Eyes 2001 was won by Belgium's Sunny O'Brien as Celine Dion.

The Stars in Their Eyes European Championships 2002 was won by Ireland's Rebecca O'Connor as Tina Turner.

Celebrity specials

Celebrity editions of the show have been aired occasionally since 1998, and although a winner was announced for each show, unlike the original format each has so far been just a one-off special. Usually a handful of episodes is taped early in the year and then broadcast evenly throughout the months,unlike other shows. These episodes are not broadcast in a series format,but rather they are shown as specials every so often. It is not uncommon to see certain episodes months after they were taped.

This is a list detailing each broadcast episode that has aired so far. The winners are listed first in bold type, except for a few episodes between 2000 and 2001 where participants are known but not which particular episodes they were a part of.


Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Steven Houghton '''Tony Hadley
Tricia Penrose Lisa Stansfield
Frank Skinner Elvis Costello
Carol Vorderman Cher
Tracy Shaw, Angela Griffin, Gaynor Faye,Jane Danson, and Holly Newman Spice Girls


Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Kirsty Young Peggy Lee
Harry Hill Morrissey
Denise Welch Petula Clark
Glenn Lamont
Michelle Collins Chrissie Hynde


Celebrities who performed during episodes during this period. The first one is a complete episode. The second one is a list of celebrities who appeared on the show during the period. There are at least two episodes featured in the list as Tracie Bennett and Claire Sweeney have won their show.

Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Claire Sweeney Celine Dion
Linford Christie Ray Charles
Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc Barbara Dickson and Elaine Paige
Trisha Goddard Dionne Warwick
Marc Bannerman Elvis Presley

Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Jenny Powell Janet Jackson
David Ginola Sacha Distel
Tracie Bennett Judy Garland
Simon Day Boy George
Carol Harrison Debbie Harry
Ben Freeman Robbie Williams
Paul Dickov Brian May


Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Boy George David Bowie
Sonique Donna Summer
A1 The Beatles
Belinda Carlisle Connie Francis
Claire Richards Karen Carpenter

Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Vicky Entwhistle Björk
Suranne Jones Madonna
Liz Dawn Peggy Lee
Charles Dale Joe Cocker
Scott Wright George Michael


Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Debra Stephenson Kylie Minogue
Sally Lindsay Dolly Parton
Lisa Riley Stockard Channing
Gabby Logan Sharleen Spiteri
Esther Rantzen Edith Piaf

Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Jarvis Cocker Rolf Harris
Honeyz The Supremes
Kim Wilde Doris Day
Brian Harvey Ali Campbell
allSTARS* Steps

Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Julia Sawalha Cerys Matthews
Terry Venables Anthony Newley
Richard Standing Gary Barlow
Anne Diamond Sheena Easton
Rachel Hunter Marilyn Monroe

Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Boy George David Bowie
Kim Wilde Carly Simon
Tracy Shaw Pink
Frank Skinner Johnnie Ray
Caprice Bourret Nancy Sinatra

Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Nikki Sanderson Leann Rimes
Bruce Jones Dean Martin
Jennifer James Shania Twain
Kevin Kennedy Bryan Adams
Sue Cleaver Judith Durham


Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Jane Danson Madonna
Julie Goodyear Marlene Dietrich
Tony Blackburn Cliff Richard
Ron Atkinson Frank Sinatra
Rhona Cameron Judy Garland

Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Andrew Whyment Don Henley
Shobna Gulati Diana Ross
Samia Smith Holly Valance
Bruno Langley Robbie Williams
Lucy-Jo Hudson Kelly Osbourne

Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Deena Payne and Antony Audenshaw Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers
William Roache Perry Como
Bernie Nolan Anastacia
Lesley Joseph Ethel Merman
Sammy Winward Christina Aguilera

Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Catalina Guirado Debbie Harry
John Fashanu Otis Redding
Toyah Willcox Patti Smith
Uri Geller Charles Aznavour
Siân Lloyd Deborah Strickland

Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Richard Fleeshman Will Young
David Nielsen Roy Orbison
Jonathan Wrather Harry Connick Jr.
Suranne Jones Catherine Zeta-Jones
Emily Symons Rosemary Clooney

Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Jonathan Wilkes Neil Diamond
Russell Grant Anthony Newley
Samantha Fox Dusty Springfield
Brigitte Nielsen Annie Lennox
Angela Lonsdale Sharleen Spiteri


Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Brian Blessed Luciano Pavarotti
Alison Hammond Nina Simone
Nikki Sanderson Britney Spears
Patrick Mower and Liam O'Brien Dr. Hook
Mike Read Cliff Richard

Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Shaun Williamson Meat Loaf
Lisa Maxwell Doris Day
Wendi Peters Kirsty MacColl
Michael Starke Paul Carrack
Lucy Pargeter Emma Bunton

Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Amy Nuttall Sarah Brightman
Lucy Benjamin Gwen Stefani
James Gaddas Robert Palmer
Roger Black James Taylor
Beverley Callard Cher

Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Jack Ryder Justin Timberlake
Verity Rushworth Rachel Stevens
Chris Finch Marti Pellow
Tim Healy Joe Cocker
Penny Smith Debbie Harry

Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Tricia Penrose Brenda Lee
Rupert Hill Chris Rea
Kerry McFadden Marilyn Monroe
James Hewitt Bing Crosby
Antony Audenshaw Roy Wood


Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Vickie Gates Maria McKee
Jeff Brazier Ali Campbell
Nell McAndrew Kim Wilde
Jerry Springer Elvis Presley
Victoria Bush Cass Elliott

Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Mark Charnock and Dale Meeks The Blues Brothers
Debra Stephenson Kate Bush
Eamonn Holmes Johnny Cash
Yvette Fielding Annie Lennox
Colin Murray Mark Knopfler

Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Lee Otway Richard Marx
Charlotte Bellamy and John Middleton Grace Kelly and Bing Crosby
Adele Silva Kylie Minogue
Louis Emerick Lionel Richie
Bradley Walsh Tony Bennett

Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Paul Ross Tommy Steele
Josie D'Arby Toni Braxton
Nancy Sorrell Karen Carpenter
Iwan Thomas Chris Martin
Al Murray Neil Diamond

Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Andrew Lancel Morten Harket
Tracey Wilkinson Julie London
Will Mellor George Michael
Tupele Dorgu Beyoncé Knowles
Stephen Mulhern Robbie Williams

Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan Robson and Jerome
Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers
Claire Sweeney and Richard Shelton Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond
Emily Symons and Matt Healy Sonny and Cher
Vanessa Feltz and Matthew Wright Rene and Renata


Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Jade Goody Lynn Anderson
Charlene Tilton Madonna
Neil Fox Dean Martin
Martin Offiah Tunde Baiyewu
Ben Richards Ricky Martin

Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Hayley Tamaddon Lulu
Tony Slattery Paul Heaton
Richard Arnold and Kate Garraway Frank Sinatra and Nancy Sinatra
Jennie Bond Debbie Harry
Neil 'Razor' Ruddock Neil Diamond

Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Helen Latham Dolly Parton
Julia Mallam Norah Jones
Antonia Okonma Tina Turner
Stefan Booth Elvis Presley
Bruce Byron Phil Collins

Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Helen Fraser Ethel Merman
John Barnes Will Smith
Edwina Currie Edith Piaf
Carley Stenson Faith Hill
George Hamilton Julio Iglesias

Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Mark Radcliffe Shane MacGowan
Paul Burrell Richard Gere
Phina Oruche Lauryn Hill
Tom Lister Jamie Cullum
Jayne Tunnicliffe Marianne Faithfull

Celebrity Musician Portrayed
Roxanne Pallett Gloria Estefan
Unknown Unknown
Unknown Unknown
Unknown Unknown
Unknown Unknown

Note: This episode was filmed in 2006 but has not yet aired, although there are many reports that Roxanne Pallett was the winner of this particular show.


  • The finals during Leslie Crowther's era were pre-recorded.
  • Matthew Kelly was inititally hired as caretaker host following Leslie's car accident in 1992, but became permanent when Leslie was unable to return.
  • For the first two series (1990-1991) the shows were 30 minutes each. From 1992, the shows were 45 minutes each and also filmed profiles of the star guests were added.
  • In the 1995 series, Kev Moore from Christie impersonated the late Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy, who just happened to be Leslie Crowther's son-in-law.
  • Matthew Kelly made his announcement on GMTV saying that The Stars in Their Eyes Live Final 2004 would be his last as he was quitting the show to take up acting full time.
  • For the first series grand final of Stars in Their Eyes they had a celebrity panel of record producer Pete Waterman, Actress Sally Whittaker better known as Sally Webster in Coronation Street and impressionist Joe Longthorne.
  • In one episode of Little Britain, Anne appears on Stars in Their Eyes, where she impersonates the singer of "My Heart Will Go On", Céline Dion. She manages to sing her catchphrase; "Eh-eh-eh!" to the tune of the song and then knocks over some of the scenery before licking the camera.

Overseas Format

New Zealand: In 2008 a New Zealand version of Stars in Their Eyes began screening on TVNZ, TV ONE The show, hosted by former children's television presenter and game show host Simon Barnett, is filmed in Auckland and produced by 'Imagination' TV. Season One winner was Deryn Trainer singing Billy Joel's Piano Man. Applications are currently open for a second series.

External links

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