As Sheridan Smith has proved throughout her career, she’s never afraid to take on a new challenge.

With a successful career on stage, an array of critically acclaimed sitcoms and TV dramas on her CV, and even a top 10, gold-selling album to her name, it’s no surprise to see the multi-talented performer taking her place on the judging panel of ITV’s latest prime-time talent show, Starstruck.

Based on the popular 90s show Stars in Their Eyes, Starstruck revamps the format as three contestants perform together as their musical heroes – with four different acts in each episode.

We caught up with Sheridan to find out all about Starstruck and her role on the judging panel.

Sheridan Smith talks to us about her starring role in hard-hitting ITV drama No Return

1. What advice would you give to the contestants who are performing?

What I’ve seen so far is just nerves of steel. What’s lovely for me personally is to see them living their dream. It’s so lovely to see the transformations. To see someone who maybe comes across as really shy in their VT and they are playing a character that’s an extrovert or it’s the other way around and they are quite bubbly playing someone really introverted - that’s why I’m fascinated by the acting side of things.

It’s not just a singing contest, it’s way more, there’s no record deal at the end but it’s about them becoming their idol and you can tell they’ve studied them. I’m honestly blown away by every show, by what they do, so I don’t think I could give them any advice other than that they are brilliant - I’d like them to give me advice on my next role.

2. What do you think your fellow judges bring to the panel?

The other judges are great. Jason (Manford) is a comedian so he’s all about entertainment, Adam (Lambert) is like the best singer in the world and knows all about the kind of voice and the sound of the voice as does Beverley (Knight). Beverley and Adam give amazing critiques.

Starstruck judges Adam Lambert, Sheridan Smith, Beverley Knight, Jason Manford ITV

3. You are so successful in your acting and stage career. Why did you decide to be a judge on this show and why now?

I guess part of it is having a son. You know I've always kind of shied away from talent shows before. I think maybe I was scared to step out of my comfort zone, which was being an actress. It’s about making him proud and if I push myself out of my comfort zone, that’s good. I was very flattered to be asked to be honest because they could have had anyone, but I’m loving it.

4. Is it going to be refreshing and nice for viewers to see you for you?

I really hope so. It’s scary because I’m just not used to it. I get really nervous, and I think most actors do when it comes to being themselves. I hosted another show, Pooch Perfect, but that was not filmed like this, it was very casual and you're there all day surrounded by dogs which is my biggest love after my son. It’s very different to being sat on a panel with all that glam and the production. Hopefully, I will be the eyes of the public and just say it how I see it.

5. If you could transform yourself into a music icon, who would it be and why?

It would be Dolly Parton without a shadow of a doubt. I am obsessed with her. My mum and dad were a country and western duo, so I grew up with country music. A pair of fake boobs and a big blonde wig. I’d have to practice the voice, but she is my idol so that’s who I would want to be. 

dolly parton Netflix

6. Have you ever been starstruck?

All the time. When I was 16 and moved to London. I saw a guy on the bus that was on a Dulux advert and I genuinely ran over to him so excited and I’ve kind of not changed in all those years. I've started to get used to working with actors and even then I’m like, “Dame Maggie Smith!” I'm in awe of all these people. I am getting genuinely starstruck on this show just by the contestants, so the whole thing is just brilliant for me.

7. What can viewers expect from this new entertainment show?

It’s the perfect Saturday night show. I grew up with all the variety shows so I think it’s been a while since we’ve had something like this. There are lots of talent shows but this is pretty special in that it’s members of the public not celebrities, dressing up as their icons, and not just one… three of them.

Starstruck starts at 8.30pm on Saturday 12 February on ITV and ITV Hub. 

Catch all the shows you love on BT TV

Watch the latest shows and sport from Sky with a NOW Membership, Netflix, and Discovery+ all in one place.