Alan Carr defends Mamma Mia! I Have A Dream role despite lack of experience

Mamma Mia! I Have A Dream: Zoe Ball explains the show

Mamma Mia! I Have A Dream has burst onto ITV screens with 14 youngsters competing for the chance to make their debuts as Sophie or Sky in the West End musical, Mamma Mia!

Judging the star search is comedian Alan Carr, pop sensation and podcaster Jessie Ware, musical theatre legend Samantha Barks, and Glee star Amber Riley.

The show, which is filmed on the sunny island of Cofu, in Greece, is hosted by Zoe Ball and consists of eight episodes.

Ahead of the first show airing, Alan opened up to and other media about why he is judging the show, despite not being a singer himself.

The 47-year-old defended his position in the series, insisting he “knows charisma” when he sees it in front of him.

READ MORE ITV viewers issue the same complaint minutes into Mamma Mia series

When asked how he reacted to landing the role on the ITV seires, Alan admitted: “This is really tragic, but they asked me and I started crying. I was like, ‘Ah I can’t believe it’ – and I am an ugly crier.

“But I love ABBA, I love Mamma Mia! and I love Greece so it was like the perfect job, so honestly I cried.”

Alan and the other judges spent weeks in Corfu along with the contestants who performed for them each week as they fought for the positions of Sky and Sophie.

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Opening up about judging the contestants, Alan said: “I’ve only ever been a judge on Ru Paul’s Drag Race and that is just slagging off their outfits.

“I have never sung and I know people at home will be going [he’s not done musical theatre] but I have been on stage more times than people have had hot dinners with my stand-up, so I know what it’s like.

“We all go to the theatre and we are all on Twitter and all have opinions. So I am that person at home… And I know what charisma is. I know what I like.

“They [the other judges] are all technical, but I think you need that one person to go, ‘Oh, I just like that, that’s filled me with joy.'”

Alan and the other judges have tough decisions on their hands about who they will eliminate from the programme each week as the competition heats up.

The two winners of the series are set to make their West End debut in the ABBA-packed musical in January.

Mamma Mia! I Have A Dream continues on Sundays on ITV and ITVX.

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