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The All Star Impressions Show. Image shows from L to R: Russell Brand / Paul McCartney / Tom Jones (Stevie Riks), Jasper Carrott / Louis Walsh / Gary Barlow / Tom Jones (Les Dennis), Old Ant / Tom Jones (Tim Healy), Dannii Minogue / Tom Jones (Sally Lindsay). Copyright: Pett Productions / Baby Cow Productions
The All Star Impressions Show

The All Star Impressions Show

  • TV sketch show
  • ITV1
  • 2009
  • 1 episode

Stephen Mulhern presents a comedy and entertainment extravaganza in which celebrities show off their hidden talents for mimicry. Stars Stephen Mulhern, Stevie Riks, Les Dennis, Sally Lindsay, David Gest and more.

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Press clippings

The All Star Impression Show was ITV1's big novelty entertainment show for Boxing Day, wherein celebrities did impressions of other celebrities - except for Joe Pasquale, who came on and was Joe Pasquale, in an oddly unconvincing manner.

For weeks before broadcast, ITV1 had promoted the show as if it were the magnificent glazed goose of its Christmas schedules, to be placed on our table to cries of "God bless you, good broadcasting sir!" In the event, The All Star Impression Show was essentially ITV1 bringing a roast cat to the dinner table, garnished with minced rat stuffing.

Eamonn Holmes as Elvis Presley kicked off proceedings. You need not ask which era Elvis he chose. This was not '68 Comeback Special; it was more 99 Flake Comeback Special. Indeed, in sunglasses and goitre, Holmes could have removed the cape and gone on to knock off both Roy Orbison and Carlos the Jackal, but sadly lacked the imaginative expanse to do so.

He was followed by what appeared to be Arsène Wenger doing a camp Jimmy Corkhill from Brookside - a frankly mind-blowing concept - but which perusal of the credits revealed to be a comedian called Stevie Riks doing Paul O'Grady. I hope that the confusion over this conveys some measure of how surreally awful the whole thing was, like a collection of your more lacklustre in-laws suddenly deciding to put on a revue, apparently written by their parents and occasionally studded with someone from Coronation Street.

Things reached their "WTF?" apogee with a sketch that involved Bobby Davro as Chris Tarrant, the wrinkles drawn on to his face with black felt-tip, and Les Dennis playing Gary Barlow as someone with no distinguishing physical or conversational features whatsoever, in a bath. Naked.

The skit revolved around Barlow trying to guess how Tarrant washed - "You gonna use your loofah?" - and peaked with Dennis rising, wholly naked, from the bath, genitals covered in a distressingly meagre slick of bath-foam. It may even have been Matey.

This, then, is why so many of us found ourselves at the bottom of the garden at 4am, sitting on a wet trampoline with a bad uncle. This, then, was Christmas.

Caitlin Moran, The Times, 2nd January 2010

This could possibly be the most deranged variety show you'll ever see, the only place on earth where you can watch Christopher Biggins pretending to be Boris Johnson, and Jerry Hall impersonating Katie Price. If that doesn't draw you in, how about Joe Pasquale as Lady Ga-Ga? Or Ulrika Jonsson as David Beckham? No? Surely Vanessa Feltz masquerading as James May is irresistible. As is Eamonn Holmes as Elvis Presley. And David Gest as Elton John. Les Dennis as Gary Barlow... The list goes on, and just gets odder. The All Star Impressions Show could be completely awful or it could be enjoyably barmy. It certainly has a very good pedigree, being co-produced by Steve Coogan's and Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer's production companies. And it has a certain surreal gloss that could be quite winning. Harry Hill will make a guest appearance, though we don't know whether he will reprise the Morrissey impression that won him Celebrity Stars in Their Eyes all those years ago.

Alison Graham, Radio Times, 26th December 2009

Christopher Biggins as Boris Johnson, Jerry Hall as Jordan, Ulrika Jonsson as David Beckham, Joe Pasquale as, er... Lady Gaga? Yes, here's a show that does exactly what it says on the tin as a stream of TV presenters, actors, singers, chefs and assorted other media-dependent life-forms do their best (which often amounts to their worst) impressions of fellow celebrities. Indulgent but hilarious in parts.

Gerard O'Donovan, The Telegraph, 23rd December 2009

If you thought that George Galloway pretending to be a cat on Big Brother was bizarre, ITV1 has cranked up the weird-o-meter with this programme, which must have been conceived after a heavy-drinking session among channel executives. It involves one famous person doing an impression of another - a concept that could result in an awful abyss of ineptitude and sycophancy, with Stephen Mullhern's commentary digging it into an even deeper hole. But read this line-up and defy yourself not to be horribly compelled to watch. Joe Pasquale as Lady Gaga, David Gest as Sir Tom Jones, Jerry Hall as Katie Price, Christopher Biggins as Boris Johnson, Vanessa Feltz as James May, Tim Healy and Paul Daniels as an elderly Ant and Dec. Pardon?

Alex Hardy, The Times, 19th December 2009

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