Glow Up



Stacey Dooley (2019-20)

Maya Jama (2021-22)

Leomie Anderson (2023-)


Judges: Dominic Skinner and Val Garland


Wall to Wall for BBC II!, 6 March 2019 to present

(2019-21 as a webcast with additional broadcasts on BBC One/Two, more details in Trivia below)


Aspiring make-up artists battle to be named the next make-up artist star.

Stacey Dooley (investigative journalist and reigning Strictly Come Dancing champ) hosts a contest for champion cosmeticians. The judges are Dominic Skinner and Val Garland, two established make-up artists. A third judge joins the panel each week.

Glow Up From left: host Stacey Dooley, guest judge Nikkie de Jager, Val Garland, Dominic Skinner.

The basic format is familiar from The Great British Bake Off and everything else: lots of tasks under time pressure. Some of them allow creativity, some are technical tests, some are almost impossible in the time allowed.

With a familiar competition format, it's the presentation and attitude that makes the difference. The judges know about the subject, and justify their decisions - sometimes in retrospect, sometimes as they competitors are veering from the preferred path.

Every skills show needs a gimmick, a tent or a blockhead or something. Glow Up has a "red seat": whoever the judges think did worst in the first challenge will sit in a red seat for the next one, and might suffer a time penalty as well.

Glow Up Detecting flaws the size of pores.

Whoever's bottom of the heap after two tasks takes part in a head-to-head challenge, literally facing each other. Worst leaves, and everyone else comes back next week. Best performer in the final wins.

It's a skills competition about make-up, and the UKGameshows commentary panel doesn't know a chap stick from a lipstick from a glow stick. We do know when a show tells a coherent story, and where we can have faith in the judges, and Glow Up is certainly all of these.


2019 Ellis Crawford
2020 Ophelia Liu
2021 Sophie Baverstock
2022 Yong-Chin Marika Breslin
2023 Saphron Morgan
2024 TBC


Tom Haines, credited as "Composer".


The first series premiered on 6 March 2019 at 7pm via BBC II! which was at the time was an online-only channel with a silly logo, then was given a terrestrial screening three and a half hours later on BBC One after the evening news just after 10.30pm. The second series ran from 14 May to 2 July 2020 on BBC II! (it's not getting any better with repetition, is it?) and was later given a terrestrial screening from 16 July to 3 September 2020 but this time on BBC Two at 8pm. The third series premiered on 20 April 2021 at 7pm first on BBC II! (come to think of it, surely that would be "BBC Two factorial" anyway?) and had its terrestrial screening three hours and forty-five minutes later on BBC One at 10.45pm. By the time of series four, BBC Three had returned to terrestrial television with a sensible logo, and so BBC One didn't bother carrying it - indeed, at least one UKGS editor only found out the series had even aired after BBC News ran an article about the winner three weeks after the final's first broadcast.

The Irish version was presented by Love Island contestant and Christmas I'll Get This atmosphere spoiler Maura Higgins. BBC Three aired that series on Wednesdays, with episode two premiering the day after episode one and Thursdays around 8pm.

Series five featured On-May, who had previously made a somewhat belligerent appearance on One Question.

Web links

BBC programme page

Wikipedia entry

See also

Weaver's Week review


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