Starstruck

Feel-good is back in fashion

Friends: The Reunion (Credit: HBO Max)

Almost exactly two years ago, I was invited by this magazine to muse on what was then a wave of “sad-coms” or “dramedies”, those shows playing not quite for laughs but more for wry, sympathetic chuckles at the vicissitudes of life. The success of Detectorists, Back to Life, Don’t Forget the Driver, Ricky Gervais’s After Life, Mum and This Country served to prove that small-screen gags would, from now on, be accompanied by gulps in the throat. 

Rose Matafeo on Starstruck, fangirling and the romcom renaissance

Rose Matafeo as Jessie in Starstruck (credit: BBC/Avalon UK/Mark Johnson)

For comedian Rose Matafeo’s friend, this actually happened. “I’ll never reveal who it was, it’s like a blind item on Deuxmoi,” Matafeo slyly grins, referring to the Instagram page notorious for posting cryptic celebrity gossip.

The anecdote became a key inspiration behind her new romcom series Starstruck, in which Matafeo plays Jessie, a 28-year-old New Zealander living in London who discovers the morning after a one-night stand that she has just slept with a famous film star.

Olly Murs to host new entertainment series Starstruck

Olly Murs (credit: ITV)

Murs will be joined by a celebrity panel including singer and actress Sheridan Smith (Gavin and Stacey), Queen frontman Adam Lambert, comedian Jason Manford and the musical star and soul icon Beverley Knight.

The new format will see talented members of the public step up, perform and transform into their favourite singing artists, such as Amy Winehouse, Ariane Grande, Lady Gaga, Marvin Gaye and Michael Buble.