Cocker’s quite a picture as Oz artist Rolf

As the lead singer of Pulp, one of the most popular bands of the Nineties, you would expect Jarvis Cocker’s musical heroes to include some of the aristocrats of rock. But when he was asked to take part in a celebrity edition of Stars in Their Eyes, there was only one man who he wanted to pay tribute to – Aussie painter and pop star Rolf Harris.
Cocker, 38, who formed Pulp back in 1978, has enjoyed a string of hits including Common People, Disco 2000, and Help The Aged. But down the years the star has always admired Harris’s unique approach to pop and couldn’t wait to pull on the beard and pick up his stylophone when the call came.
The startling transformation from dour man of music to loveable Australian crooner is part of a special Stars In Their Eyes episode to be screened on Saturday night.
Cocker is one of a clutch of showbiz names who shed their identity for the night in order to live the dream of performing on stage as one of their pop idols. Jarvis wed his long-time girlfriend, French stylist Camille Bidault-Waddington, in a ceremony in northern France earlier this year. During the service, conducted entirely in French, he sang his unique version of the Jimi Hendrix song, Purple Haze.
Also taking part with Cocker in the ITV1 show are Eighties pop princess Kim Wilde and former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey.
Wilde, who topped the charts with hits such as Kids in America and You Keep Me Hangin’ On, has traded in her glad rags for a set of overalls, taking up gardening as a career. But the blonde star will put her trowel down for the evening as she is transformed into Fifties girl next door Doris Day.
Harvey, who has recently worked with Wyclef Jean and True Steppers, will be trying his hand at a bit of reggae when he becomes UB40 singer Ali Campbell for the evening.
Others taking part include British girl band The Honeyz, who perform as legendary Sixties soul trio The Supremes, and chart act Allstars who pay tribute to a more recent pop sensation, Steps.
An insider on the show said: “This just goes to show that no matter how famous people are they still dream of performing as their own heroes.” The programme is hosted as ever by Matthew Kelly.