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Jason Manford tells ‘Starstruck’ critics to ‘chill out’ after Sheridan Smith jokes

who'll impress the 'Startstruck' judges?
The ‘Starstruck’ judges (Image credit: ITV)

Judge on ITV’s new Stars in their Eyes style show Starstruck Jason Manford leapt to the defence of his fellow judge Sheridan Smith after viewers piled into her about being on TV ‘more than ads’.

In the past week the super-talented actress and singer has starred in Channel 5’s The Teacher, ITV holiday in hell drama No Return and now new Saturday entertainment show Starstruck on ITV.

It prompted wags in the TV audience to have some fun. One poster said: “I see Sheridan Smith more than my mum these days”.

Another joked: “Rumour has it Sheridan uses the ad break of #Starstruck  to film a scene in an upcoming ITV drama”.

Some were gentler. “Sheridan Smith’s agent must be the hardest working woman alive”.

But her co-judge Jason was quick to support her, tweeting that “It’s not sommat she’s in charge of,she would’ve filmed those 3 excellent shows last year & some scheduler decided they went on this week. So chill out, also she’s excellent & you’re lucky to have her”.

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To be fair, there was a lot of support from viewers for the Cilla and Four Lives star.

One commented: “Sheridan Smith may be on nearly everything at the minute, but she is brilliantly talented, so why not?”

Another said: “Really enjoyed the show tonight #Starstruck I thought Sheridan and Beverley Knight were both amazing!”

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To the show itself, this first week pitched Team Freddie Mercury, Team Marvin Gaye, Team Lady Gaga and Team Ariana Grande. 

Freddie Mercury

(Image credit: Twitter)

Judges Sheridan Smith, Jason Manford, Beverley Knight and current Queen frontman Adam Lambert chose to send Team Freddie through to the sing-off in which all all three singers competed against each other ... and Rob was voted through to the final by the studio audience and a chance to win a £50,000 prize.

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 


An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.