Beverley Knight on 'Starstruck': 'I’m the vocal nerd of the four judges'

Beverley Knight will keep us entertained in 'Starstruck' on ITV.
Beverley Knight will keep us entertained in 'Starstruck' on ITV. (Image credit: ITV)

Beverley Knight is a judge on ITV's Starstruck — the show which gives a twist to the classic Stars In Their Eyes format from the 1990s. This time members of the public are made over to look like their idols, then perform in teams of three — so watch out for Team Ariana Grande, Team Freddie Mercury and so on.

Starstruck begins on Saturday, February 12 at 8.30 pm on ITV and Beverley joins fellow judges Adam Lambert, Sheridan Smith, Jason Manford, while Olly Murs hosts the eight-part series.

Beverley Knight says: "It’s a real, fun mum, grandma, daughter, neighbor, everybody-can-get-involved show because everybody will have an opinion on the different teams that are going to be put forward to represent the different icons. We all love to hear people sing, we all love to hear people sing well. This country loves a talent show and a quiz show and this is the perfect combination of both. It’s perfect Saturday night television.

“Every show we get to witness ordinary people emulate extraordinary icons on a huge scale and I’m so here for it!  I’m looking forward to hearing and seeing those spectacular transformations and being a cheerleader for every contestant. The transformations in this show are amazing. Some people walk on stage and they really have the look of the person they’re emulating. But once you’ve got past that, then, for me, it’s like, “OK, do you sound like them? Do you walk like them? Do you hold the mic like them?” All those little nuances that make up that musical star. I’m all about the vocals, but I also want to be entertained!

"I’m the vocal nerd of the four judges. I’ve spent my life listening to vocals, listening to tone, listening to vocal mannerisms and what people do and why it makes them them. This show appeals to that side of me so much I cannot even tell you. I can go into the detail of talking about great singers and their voices and I get to do that every show. I can go off on one about how wonderful someone's voice is and why people produce the sound that they do. For me, it’s heaven.

Beverley Knight with her 'Startstruck' judging colleagues Adam Lambert, Sheridan Smith and Jason Manford.

Beverley Knight with her 'Startstruck' judging colleagues Adam Lambert, Sheridan Smith and Jason Manford. (Image credit: ITV)

"Adam Lambert is similar to me because he is listening to vocal inflection and everything. And we both will look at performance and stage presence. Sheridan is great because she has spent her life transforming into other people. She knows how to get inside of a character. Part of this show is do they look like them? Do they sound like them? Do they physically behave like them? Sheridan Smith is looking at that in absolute detail. Jason Manford is looking at all of the above but of course, he’s got that fantastic comedic element. He knows how to perform but he can put all of those comments in a brilliantly funny way. We’re a little foursome and we love it. We all have our own thing that we bring. I will try my best to find the most diplomatic way through saying something, Adam will just say what he thinks and you need that. He’s never mean, he’s just plain-speaking."

Beverley admits she's looking for similarities between the contestants and their icons: "Vocally, that is really important to me. Do they sound like them? Do they have their tone? Do they have the vocal tics that we all have? I’ll be listening to that in detail. If they’ve got that, they’re most of the way there. Firstly, I’m looking for the tone because tone is difficult to replicate. You can either do it or you can’t. Sometimes it’s easier to find because they’ve got a character about them. For example, someone like Cher. It’s not just that, it’s also what they do with their voice. If you’re going to sing Christina Aguilera, you can’t sound like a classical singer because you won’t be near. You have to have all the vocal inflections that she has. And are they following the melody of what the record is? Are they copying that as faithfully as they can? That’s definitely something."

'Starstruck' host Olly Murs with Team Ariana Grande.

'Starstruck' host Olly Murs with Team Ariana Grande. Will Beverly be impressed by their performance in episode one? (Image credit: ITV)

Beverley Knight on who'd she'd love transform into and perform as on 'Starstruck'?

Beverley Knight has only one icon mind if she ever did Starstruck: "Prince, all day long! I would lose some of this hair or braid it all down and put a wig on. I would love to transform into Prince. I want to know what it feels like for that minute and a half that the contestants are up there. I want to know what it feels like to be a musical genius, a genuine genius of music. I’ve been a Prince fan since I was tiny, I’ve got so much memorabilia, music, T-shirts, my keyring is the Love Symbol. I’m obsessed."

Starstruck starts on ITV on Saturday, Feb. 12 at 8.30 pm and runs weekly.

Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.