ITV has officially confirmed that The Masked Dancer is joining its 2021 slate and that two-time Strictly Come Dancing champ Oti Mabuse will feature as a judge.
The new show follows the runaway success of zany competition series The Masked Singer and will follow a similar premise, seeing 12 celebrities perform unique dances while wearing elaborate disguises.
It will be down to the expert panel comprised of Mabuse and returning judges Jonathan Ross, Davina McCall and Mo Gilligan to decipher who is hiding underneath the crazy costumes.
They’ll have some help from the clue packages played before each performance, which will also allow viewers at home to play along and put forward their best guesses.
Oti Mabuse said: “I’m so thrilled and honoured to be joining the panel on The Masked Dancer. I’m a huge fan of The Masked Singer and I loved the US Masked Dancer so I just can’t wait to start on this show. As a dancer, I will be watching the dancers intently looking for clues – it’s going to be so much fun!”
Though you might imagine that the bulky attire will restrict the contestants’ movement, ITV has nevertheless promised a wide range of dancing styles from ballet to ballroom and salsa to swing.
Presenter Joel Dommett is also returning for The Masked Dancer, which will run for an initial series comprised of seven episodes, each one clocking in at 90 minutes in length.
Comedian Mo Gilligan joined the Masked Singer family with the show’s second series on ITV, taking the place formerly held by Community and The Hangover star Ken Jeong.
He said: “I love The Masked Singer. It’s a crazy bit of joy, which we all need right now – so when ITV asked if I wanted to join The Masked Dancer I, of course, said a huge yes! I’m really looking forward to getting back with the team for another brilliant series.”
Joel Dommett added: “Well, this is set to be an amazing fun twist…will someone do the twist?! The Masked Dancer is that little bit of silly fun our lives need right now and I’m so excited to be hosting it. I’m looking forward to some incredible costumes, epic performances and accidentally saying Masked Singer at least five times.”
An American version of The Masked Dancer has already aired in the US, with the concept inspired by a spoof segment first featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.