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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 December 2005, 12:23 GMT
Cilla Black returns for song show
Cilla Black
Cilla Black started her showbusiness career as a singer
Cilla Black is making a return to ITV1 on a new song contest show featuring stars who rose to fame on soaps such as EastEnders and Coronation Street.

The former Blind Date host will be a judge on Soapstar Superstar which will see 10 actors performing for charity.

Meanwhile, Tony Christie is thought to be among the singers lined up to appear with celebrities in a BBC1 talent show.

The pairs will have a week to learn a duet before performing for viewers' votes on Just The Two Of Us.

Each week the duo with the least number of votes will leave the show, which will feature different musical styles including rock, jazz and country.

Just The Two Of Us will be broadcast on Friday and Saturday nights.

'Lots of fun'

Black, 62, quit Blind Date after 18 years during a live broadcast in January 2003, annoyed by changes made to its format.

Last Christmas she hosted a one-off special on digital channel Living which echoed her past series Surprise Surprise.

Soapstar Superstar, which will begin in January, will see 10 contestants showcase their singing live in ITV's Manchester studio, with the cash prize going to a charity of their choice.

The judges will comment on singing ability, styling, and all-round performance, with viewers voting for their favourite.

Tony Christie
Tony Christie's song topped the charts this year

Black started her career as a pop singer in the 1960s.

"Taking part in Soapstar Superstar will be lots of fun, not least because I'm a huge soap fan, but because I hope I can understand a little of what the performers are going through and guide and advise as best as I can," she said.

Both current and former soap stars will appear on the show, including EastEnders stars Michael Greco, Coronation Street's Richard Fleeshman and Emmerdale's Lucy Pargeter.

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