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TV Quickfire: Olly Murs on ITV's new tribute act talent show Starstruck

Musical TV talent show Starstruck is ITV's new Saturday night prime-time offering. We found out more from presenter Olly Murs...

Starstruck: Presenter Olly Murs
Danielle de Wolfe

WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO GET INVOLVED WITH STARSTRUCK?

Obviously, I just fell in love with the idea of it – people transforming into their icons to sing on stage. There was something that just really appealed to me about that, because that's what I'm about. I don't want a show that's got controversy, I don't want a show that's going to feel stressful; I want a show that's just really feel-good, fun and entertaining – and that's what this show has in abundance.

IT'S BRINGING BACK MEMORIES OF ANOTHER CLASSIC TRIBUTE SHOW…

Listen, everyone's gonna sit here and say 'Stars In Their Eyes', but that show in the 90s was one of my favourite shows to watch. I absolutely loved it. And so, to have a new show called Starstruck, which is a modernised version of that with the judging panel, and not just one icon on the stage, you've got three of them.

WHO IS ON THE JUDGING PANEL?

Well, you've got Adam Lambert who is an incredible singer. We all know he's rock royalty. He's been part of Queen now for a long, long time and he's filling the boots of probably one of the most iconic frontmen that's ever been in Freddie Mercury. He's sung in front of Cher, he's performed with Lady Gaga, he's met all the big stars. He's like the Tom Jones of the panel – who's he not met or performed with?

You've got Sheridan Smith, who's been an actress, she's been on stage, she can sing as well. Beverley Knight? Oh, Come on! We've all seen The Bodyguard haven't we? I mean, she was insane in that, so to be able to sing songs from Whitney Houston in a way that she did. She is an incredible singer.

Jason Manford is a comedian – but he's been an actor. He's done musicals, plays and he can sing. These are all elements that people don't know about Jason. He has had an album out. He's been singing in different West End shows. We all know he's a funny guy, he's got great wit and great energy, but he also knows what it's like to be on stage and perform and be someone else.

WHAT ARE THE JUDGES LOOKING FOR?

Well, I think what's really good about the panel is that they're all looking for different things. They don't even have to look like [the star] but they at least sound like them – that's key, isn't it? Because you might be able to perform and look and dance like that, but if your voice doesn't quite sound like that icon, it's hard, isn't it? That's what you're looking for. I think that's what's so good about the panel.

WHAT MAKES NOW THE RIGHT TIME FOR STARSTRUCK?

I think it's the right time because it's been a really rubbish year, and a really rubbish time for everyone. I think you really sense that from people I've met; going shopping every day, seeing people in masks, it just feels like people feel a bit down, a bit depressed, and a bit… they need to be lifted up, they need a little bit of positivity, they need a bit of fun.

People just get to a point where they want a feel good Saturday night show to watch; where you haven't got to overthink it. For me, it's what you want – Saturday night, feel good TV, and it's a right laugh.

:: Starstruck airs Saturdays at 8:30pm on ITV and is available on the ITV Hub

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