What Matthew Kelly used to hand out to every member of the crew before filming Stars in Their Eyes

Virgin Radio

13 May 2024, 12:26

Dick & Dom uncover behind-the-scenes secrets from the iconic Saturday night show host Matthew Kelly.

As part of Dick & Dom's latest nostalgia trip on Virgin Radio's Memory Unlocked, the duo delved into the world of 90s Saturday night television, reminiscing about the iconic show Stars in Their Eyes and its charismatic host, Matthew Kelly.

With viewership figures soaring to over 30 million during its 17-year run, Stars in Their Eyes was the ultimate family entertainment, captivating audiences across the UK.

And at the heart of it all was Matthew Kelly, ready to transform ordinary people into musical legends with his iconic catchphrase: "Tonight Matthew, I'm going to be…"

Often considered the biggest show on telly at the time, Kelly says that to him, that didn't matter.

"I don't really remember that side of it." Kelly stated before going on talk about his joy in the studio, "That was all up to other people. We were just having a laugh in the studio. And I used to absolutely love everybody who came in. I thought they were marvellous."

The former face of Saturday night then reveal some behind the scenes tricks to shooting the show, which resulted in Kelly not being able to truly know what the audience at home were going to see at broadcast.

He said: "Sometimes people would say to me on a Monday, 'Oh, so and so were very good.' And I'd go, 'I don't know what you're talking about.' Because, right, this is what would happen. People will come in, and we took two days to do each show. So the big five people come in on the first day. And they all sing their songs five times.

"The reason for doing the five times is to get them on, and to give them enough confidence to do the show the next day.

"The first time they'd come up and go, 'Oh, no, oh, I wish I hadn't done this. Oh, I'd rather die.' Then by the fifth time? Couldn't get him off!"

Kelly also revealed he had a quirky tradition of his own.

Before filming each day, he would hand out a beloved treat to every member of the crew.

He said: "Every morning, I used to come in and I used give everybody a Freddo."

For those that unfortunately did get to grow up with the go Cadbury product for children in the UK and Australia, a Freddo is a chocolate bar shaped like a Looney Toons style frog.

Originally produced in Australia in the 1930s when an 18 year old MacRobertson's employee, Harry Melbourne, who won an internal competition to design a new product, after plans to design a chocolate mouse were scrapped as it was suspected ' that women and children were afraid of mice and would dislike the product.'

It was eventually bought by the Cadbury company and then introduced into the UK in 1973 where it eventually became a stand out product for the company.

According to Kelly, this sweet gesture served a dual purpose. "That way you get to learn everybody's name," he explained. "And people will do anything for chocolate—you can buy their affection."

In the UK the price of this iconic treat has become a quirky measure of inflation and the cost of living.

From its humble beginnings at 10p, the price of a Freddo has skyrocketed over the years, reaching as high as 49p today.

Suffice it to say, if Stars in Their Eyes were to relaunch now, Kelly might have to negotiate a higher fee to keep up with the rising cost of his crew's favourite snack.

After his time on Stars in Their Eyes, Kelly returned to his first love of acting, eventually winning an Olivier Award in 2004 for his portrayal of Lenny in Of Mice and Men.

He also makes an appearance in the first episode of the final series of Inside No.9, alongside its creators Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith.

Kelly had met the pair through separate acting jobs, notably on Benidorm alongside Pemberton, and relish the opportunity to sink his teeth into what Dick & Dom described as a particularly dark episode of the already bone chilling series.

"The writing is so clever. And it's an it's not only funny, and very dark." Kelly explained as went on to further praise the show, "It's also is a commentary on social commentary. Actually, they all are about how we live our lives."