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Secret Voices of Hollywood

Sun Sep 29, 9-10.30pm, BBC4

It started with the advent of the talkies and the fuss over Zach Efron’s ‘singing’ in 2006’s ‘High School Musical’ suggests it remains an issue to this day. But if the hotties and hunks of Hollywood aren’t doing the singing in their films, who is? This documentary examines the role of the ‘ghost singer’ through film history. Rita Hayworth was arguably the first star to need a locum and now Auto-Tune has added an extra layer of confusion to the debate.

It’s fun to see some of the studio stalwarts from the golden age of ghost singers getting their moment on camera – their faces shine with delight as they recount experiences they’d probably expected to have to keep to themselves. But the film feels very linear and slightly overlong – what could have been a snappy hour feels like a flabby 90 minutes.

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