Steps to the Stars
Ian "H" Watkins and Claire Richards (from pop group Steps)
BBC1, 11 February 2000 to 30 March 2001 (2 series)
Kids' talent show. Phone or text to vote for your favourite!
No matter how good the actual acts were, the show was always spoilt by the horrible moment toward the end of the programme when the previous week's winner was announced. Why? Because all of the winners' supposed "reactions" to being "told the news" had actually been recorded long in advance, before the original show even aired. Cue the same hideous doing-what's-expected-of-them, blatantly non-spontaneous hands-over-eyes routine every single time. Second series included.
The blooper of H informing us that next week's winning act would be announced this week. Although when you think about the pre-recorded structure we've talked about, it actually makes perfect sense!
The first series was re-versioned (i.e. had the voting details edited out) and repeated under the title Summer Steps.
The second series was cleverly titled Steps II the Stars. Do you see?
The other members of Steps (Lisa Scott Lee, Faye Tozer and Lee Latchford Evans) only appeared in the obligatory end-of-show band performance.
Danny Jones of McFly appeared in the first series as part of the band Y2K, while future chart-topper and Pop Idol runner-up Gareth Gates was a finallist in the second series. For some reason (straight down-the-line befuddlement, we would suggest), popular belief has it that Joss Stone entered and won the first series under her real name, but allow us to scotch that one right now: the winner of the first series was indeed a female singer from Devon with the initials JS, but it wasn't her. Stone, meanwhile, did appear on a BBC TV talent show but it wasn't this one - it was Junior Star for a Night. Is that clear now?
2000: Jenny-Lynn Smith, singer
2001: Shane McKeever, dancer