ITV announces six celebrity contestants for All Star Musicals

Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter
·3 min read

Bafta-winning actress Jessica Hynes, ITV News political editor Robert Peston and presenter Dr Ranj Singh are among the famous faces who will compete on ITV’s All Star Musicals.

TV personality Robert Rinder, actor Barney Walsh and EastEnders actress Luisa Bradshaw-White will also take to the stage.

The six famous faces will take a musical theatre masterclass before performing a hit song in a bid to impress a virtual audience, as well as a panel of critics.

Frost Summer Party Fundraiser 2016 – London
Robert Peston (Ian West/PA)

Musicals featured will range from contemporary to traditional, including The Greatest Showman, Chicago and Guys And Dolls.

John Barrowman will return as host, with West End star Elaine Paige heading up the panel, which will also include Hamilton star Trevor Dion Nicholas and Les Miserables actress Samantha Barks.

The four-strong group will open the show with You Can’t Stop The Beat from Hairspray – performed “in a way never seen before”, according to ITV.

Spaced actress Hynes said: “It’s a pure joy and a privilege to work with people with such passion and skill on such a fun show. Having fun and doing things you enjoy just because you enjoy them is a good way to stay young at heart, and this show seemed like it would be a lot of fun to do!

“Creating a fully-fledged musical number from scratch with limited rehearsal is daunting but I’m working with the best of the best so I’m confident we’ll do it!”

Strictly Come Dancing 2018
Dr Ranj Singh on Strictly Come Dancing (Guy Levy/PA)

Veteran journalist Peston said he has been a fan of musical theatre since childhood but has not performed in public for many years.

He said: “I love singing, though I haven’t sung in front of an audience since university. And I have always adored old Broadway and Hollywood musicals, a passion I inherited from my late dad.

“So, in the middle of lockdown, when asked by ITV whether I fancied indulging a fantasy and learning how to sing and perform one of my favourite show numbers, I thought ‘Yes!’. I will make a fool of myself, but I could not care less.”

Dr Ranj Singh, who competed on Strictly Come Dancing in 2018, said: “People know me from my medical job, but my very first love was actually music. I’ve loved singing since I was a little child and it’s always been really special to me.

“I’ve never had the guts to do it on screen, but this opportunity to perform in front of musical theatre legends was too good to miss.

“And, after the year we’ve had, I think it’s more important than ever to remind ourselves of the magic of theatre. So I’m hugely honoured to get the chance to do this – and equally terrified.”

Rinder, known for his TV alter ego Judge Rinder, said: “I’m really excited to take part in All Star Musicals. I always choose things to do that I enjoy and I love theatre, especially musicals. Musicals are a real passion of mine and this is a real bucket list activity for me.”