Paddy McGuinness to host Stars in Their Eyes-style tribute battle

The Take Me Out star will present Even Better Than The Real Thing for BBC1

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Paddy McGuinness is set to host a one-off entertainment contest for BBC1, it has been revealed, with the Take Me Out star helming new tribute act showdown Even Better Than The Real Thing.

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“This show is a belter!” McGuinness said in a statement. “A talent show that’s only about the talent – with the best tribute acts from around the world singing their hearts out.

“You’ll never have to fork out for expensive concert tickets again. You’ve got front row seats!” 

“We are thrilled that Paddy will be bringing his unique brand of warmth and wit to these shows which promise to give you some of the best loved songs, performed as you have never seen them before,” Rachel Ashdown, BBC Entertainment Commissioning Editor added.

The 60-minute special is set to “celebrate the biggest names in pop music by bringing together the world’s top tribute artists for a glamorous night of performing and competing” according to the official release, with music from the likes of George Michael, Little Mix, Whitney Houston and Bruno Mars performed by tribute artists who are the “very best in the game.” 

Then at the end of the show, the live audience will vote for their favourite tribute – the one performer who is truly Even Better Than The Real Thing.

And given the format’s similarity to classic series Stars in Their Eyes (which saw members of the public dress and perform as their favourite stars), it seems likely that the team behind Ever Better Than The Real Thing could hope to see the one-off extend into a full series. After all, there’s apparently a Christmas-themed edition already in the works too, with tribute acts set to perform festive hits from across the decades later this year. 

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So if all that sounds like fun to you, keep your eyes peeled – the series films in Salford this summer (presumably in the next few weeks), so there could be audience spots available. You’d certainly save money on seeing the acts for real…