‘You Saw Them Here First’ (ITV) Review

Giving some of our favourite stars the unwelcome reminder of what they looked and sounded like when they made their TV debuts, You Saw Them Here First premiered last night, with names such as Pauline Quirke, Stephen Mulhern and Arlene Phillips entering the video booth and being put through the ordeal of watching their younger selves.


I was worried that this show would either race through the clips or spend far too long on them – making for either a wasted or tedious hour – but it’s actually very well paced. Just the right amount of time is dedicated to showing the celebrities covering their eyes and cringing – which is undoubtedly the best part.

Then again, I love the quiz element of the programme, too: although technically a clips show, it’s  almost impossible not to sit and try to guess who the fresh-faced star is. Some are easier to predict (Hugh Bonneville and Jennie McAlpine, for example) but others – like Suranne Jones and Mel Giedroyc – were much more difficult to spot. And bless little Jack Whitehall!


Some of the most enjoyable clips were in fact those featuring some of our best-loved chart-toppers – and Kym Lomas. I had no idea that The Saturdays’ Mollie King began on X Factor as part of Fallen Angelz (I bet she regrets not getting past boot camp, eh?) and, while I knew her bandmates Frankie Sandford and Rochelle Humes started off in S Club Juniors, I always thought they were older when they were singing about their Puppy Love. When I was 7, they seemed about 18 to me! Still, at least seeing 1/4 of them on You Saw Them Here First encouraged me to look them up on Wikipedia, giving me an excuse to reminisce. And did you know they reformed this year? Me neither!

Anyway, back to YSTHF. Seeing 3/5 of The Wanted just a few years ago was great, too – who knew Max auditioned in front of Louis, Sharon and dad-to-be Simon, with a broken arm? And that Nathan performed a self-penned track on Junior Eurovision? And that Siva was in Rock Rivals? Actually, am I the only one to remember Rock Rivals? Probably. And am I the only one to have bought the first – and only – series on DVD? Most definitely.

Next week there’ll be more chart-toppers in their debuts, as JLS’ Aston and former The Voice UK coach, Jessie J, will feature.

It’s a real shame that You Saw Them Here First is in just two parts – normally we’d only get to see this sort of stuff on a tribute show or after hours of searching YouTube. So seldom are we given the opportunity to see Eamonn Holmes with a mullet, Hugh Bonneville dying on a slippery surface, and Michelle Collins looking very much like Julie from 90s sitcom, The Brittas Empire (do some Googling: she actually did).

You Saw Them Here First is on Wednesdays at 8:00pm on ITV

What did you think of You Saw Them Here First? Do you agree or disagree with my review? Please comment below or tweet me – @UKTVReviewer.

You can also see my recommendations for the coming week’s TV on this blog, published every Saturday at midnight.


2 thoughts on “‘You Saw Them Here First’ (ITV) Review

  1. Suze says:

    We’ve been struggling ever since watching,to find out who a lot of the people shown (who weren’t mentioned but very recognisable) were, such as the young man next to Simon Cowell on ‘Right to Reply’ to name but one.

    • uktvreviewer says:

      I’ve just watched the show again but I don’t know who was on Simon’s right on ‘Right to Reply’ – he’s not listed as having appeared on it on IMDb either. I agree, though – he does look familiar

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