Alan Carr reveals the surprising reason Mamma Mia: I Have a Dream is the perfect show for him

Alan Carr is a judge on Mamma Mia I Have a Dream
Alan Carr brings the fun as a judge on Mamma Mia: I Have a Dream. (Image credit: ITV)

With Mamma Mia - the jukebox musical based on the songs of ABBA - celebrating 25 years in the West End next year, what better time to kick off a TV talent search to find two newcomers to play the roles of bride-to-be Sophie and her beau Sky. Well, ABBA fans are in luck as Mamma Mia: I Have a Dream launches on ITV1.

Hosted by Zoe Ball and filmed in glorious Greece, the ‘name of the game’ will be for 14 ‘super troupers’ to each show off their singing, dancing and acting skills in a bid to convince judges; comedian Alan Carr, Glee favourite Amber Riley, singer Jessie Ware and West End star Samantha Barks, to ‘take a chance on me’. 

Mamma Mia judges Alan Carr jessie ware zoe ball amber riley and samantha barks

Alan alongside his fellow Mamma Mia judges Jessie Ware, Amber Riley and Samantha Barks, with host Zoe Ball (c). (Image credit: ITV)

This show sorts the ‘dancing queens' from those who need an ‘SOS’, with the public having the final say on which two winners take it all. Here Alan, 47, reveals more…

How did you feel when you got the call to be a judge on Mamma Mia: I Have a Dream?

"Oh, well, I mean, this is really tragic but they asked me and I started crying! I love ABBA. I love Mamma Mia and I love Greece, so it was literally the perfect job. Honestly, I cried and cried and I couldn't believe my luck."

Alan Carr Samantha Barks Amber Riley Jessie Ware

Thank You For The Music: Judges Alan Carr, Samantha Barks Amber Riley and Jessie Ware enjoy the performances. (Image credit: ITV)

What sort of judge are you?

"I've only ever judged outfits on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, so I know there'll be people at home saying: 'Why’s he doing a musical theatre show?' I've never sung but I’ve been on stage with my stand-up more times than people have had hot dinners, so I know what it’s like to perform. And we all have opinions. So I guess I'm like the person watching at home. The other judges are technical but you need one person to go, 'Oh, I just like that, it’s filled me with joy’."

Mamma Mia Skys and Sophies

Take a Chance on Me: The 14 girls and boys competing for the roles of Sophie and Sky. (Image credit: ITV)

What was it like filming in Greece?

"The gorgeous location made lots of these performances so memorable. Sometimes the contestants would perform with a sunset behind them then, as it got dark, fairy lights would come on. So every performance had its own little bit of magic. Staying in the hotel, though, was a bit surreal. I’d often look out and see Zoe’s knickers drying on a sun lounger and Samantha walking along with a yoga mat. It was like a celebrity holiday camp!"

Mamma Mia boys perform

Locals gather under the stars to watch two 'Skys' perform. (Image credit: ITV)

Each week, our hopefuls take part in singing, dancing and acting workshops. But how crucial is the chemistry between Sophie and Sky?

"Very. We’d have our favourites, who’d sing together beautifully, but then we’d be like, 'Oh no, they've got no chemistry’! There’s a responsibility on us to pick finalists that people are going to want to watch for another 25 years. The pressure was on."

Lastly, if you were to play a character in MAMMA MIA! who would it be?

"I’d be Pierce Brosnan [Sam Carmichael in the films]. Naturally. Or I could play a camp waiter? They need to make a decision on whether there’s going to be a third film - I'm not getting any younger!"

Mamma Mia: I Have a Dream starts on Sunday, October 22 at 6 pm on ITV1.

Victoria Wilson
Feature Writer for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and

With over 20 years’ experience writing about TV and film, Vicky currently writes features for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week magazines plus news and watching guides for, a job which involves chatting to a whole host of famous faces. Our Vicky LOVES light entertainment, with Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK among her fave shows. Basically, if it’s got a shiny floor, she’s all over it! When she’s not watching TV, you might find Vicky in therapy… retail therapy that is!