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Steve Williams2,445 posts since 1 Aug 2008
I recall that there was a lot of unrest from the cast of Emmerdale at the time, and the entire family were written out within a year anyway.

The show itself was awful, with head judge Yvon Grace (more famous on here for the disastrous 2003 Crossroads reboot) trying to emulate Nigel Lythgoe's persona in Popstars (which Simon Cowell has done a somewhat better job of!) but it not really working.

If you're gonna do that better to do it as a fly-on-the-wall documentary.


Well, they sort of did do it as a fly-on-the-wall documentary because Soapstars, like the original Popstars, didn't have a studio element, it was all filmed on location with an anonymous narrator, it was certainly more a documentary than a light entertainment show. And it didn't really work at all, Yvon Grace was awful, but also it was so hard for the audience to get a grip on what they were supposed to be looking for. You could tell if a contender on Popstars couldn't sing, but you never knew what the judges on Soapstars were or weren't seeing and why the contestants were or weren't any good. On the ALW ones it is mostly singing.

The other interesting thing about Soapstars is that it was part of an extremely short-lived attempt in the autumn of 2001 by ITV to rebrand Mondays as a young-skewing night, so they scheduled it on Mondays alongside the RTD drama Bob and Rose and The Sketch Show, and they did trailers saying "Monday's My Day" with the idea that it would be home to classy new drama and comedy (presumably thanks to The Premiership moving some stuff that would otherwise have been on Saturday teatime). And the whole thing lasted five weeks before they panicked at Bob and Rose's ratings and parachuted Denis Norden's Laughter File in there.
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gottago2,702 posts since 26 Aug 2004
London London
I recall that there was a lot of unrest from the cast of Emmerdale at the time, and the entire family were written out within a year anyway.

The show itself was awful, with head judge Yvon Grace (more famous on here for the disastrous 2003 Crossroads reboot) trying to emulate Nigel Lythgoe's persona in Popstars (which Simon Cowell has done a somewhat better job of!) but it not really working.

If you're gonna do that better to do it as a fly-on-the-wall documentary.


Well, they sort of did do it as a fly-on-the-wall documentary because Soapstars, like the original Popstars, didn't have a studio element, it was all filmed on location with an anonymous narrator, it was certainly more a documentary than a light entertainment show. And it didn't really work at all, Yvon Grace was awful, but also it was so hard for the audience to get a grip on what they were supposed to be looking for. You could tell if a contender on Popstars couldn't sing, but you never knew what the judges on Soapstars were or weren't seeing and why the contestants were or weren't any good. On the ALW ones it is mostly singing.

The other interesting thing about Soapstars is that it was part of an extremely short-lived attempt in the autumn of 2001 by ITV to rebrand Mondays as a young-skewing night, so they scheduled it on Mondays alongside the RTD drama Bob and Rose and The Sketch Show, and they did trailers saying "Monday's My Day" with the idea that it would be home to classy new drama and comedy (presumably thanks to The Premiership moving some stuff that would otherwise have been on Saturday teatime). And the whole thing lasted five weeks before they panicked at Bob and Rose's ratings and parachuted Denis Norden's Laughter File in there.

Actually there was a studio show at the end of Soapstars presented by Carol Voderman that was shown on the night of the family's first Emmerdale episode. I can't remember if it preceded the episode (it must have done) but I remember the credits on Emmerdale rolling and the audience cheers and applause fading in over the credits for the aftershow bit. Can't imagine it was much more that filler interviews. Similarly Popstars had a final live episode in its first series presented by Davina where they waited to find out (possibly at one of their homes oddly enough) if they'd got to number 1. Seem to remember them speaking live to Radio 1 to find out.

Also as an aside Bob and Rose was based on the life of the now head of ITV entertainment commissioning Shu Greene. You might remember her as the cancer surviving exec producer Simon Cowell called up to the stage when they accepted an NTA for X Factor a few years ago.
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JamesM0984453 posts since 21 Jun 2018
Central (East) East Midlands Today
Popstars had a live show at the band's house, with a live link to Mark Goodier on Radio 1.

The Soapstars show was a wraparound of the episode. But yes, Yvon Grace was dreadful - tried to take on Lythgoe's persona and totally failed. But then again I will never, ever forgive her for what she did to Crossroads. Why nobody at Carlton or the Network didn't stop her and say "Yvon, this is sh*te. It won't work." we will never know. If she had been to Crossroads more like Corrine Hollingsworth was to Eldorado, the course of TV history might have been very different. But you can't make something so bad it's good. I see what she was trying to do, but Jane Hewland did it a hell of a lot better with Mile High on Sky One around the same time - a kind of cross between Yvon's Crossroads and Footballers Wives .

I know it had a cult following on here at the time and even inspired some very early versions of what we now call memes, but she's a large reason why there are no television studios in the Midlands anymore.
Last edited by JamesM0984 on 20 November 2018 12:26am - 2 times in total