Almost a year after it first captivated (and bemused) UK audiences, The Masked Singer is back for another series starting on Boxing Day.
The reality show sees a range of celebrities take to the stage to perform musical numbers while dressed in elaborate costumes, with four panellists attempting to work out the famous faces behind the masks.
And speaking ahead of the second run, returning host Joel Dommett had revealed that he is very secretive about the identities while the show is airing – claiming he doesn’t even spill the beans to his nearest and dearest.
The show is all pre-recorded, so Dommett knows who is behind each mask before the programmes go out. But asked if he finds it difficult to keep the information to himself, he responded that it wasn’t too much of a challenge.
“Weirdly, this is the strange thing, not that bad,” he said. “I thought I’d really struggle with that and genuinely my tactic of keeping the secret is to immediately forget.
“I immediately try my best to kind of just forget and then it’s not a secret. And then when I watch it I’m like ‘oh my God YEAH!’
“I don’t tell anyone, I don’t even tell my wife. I get home and she’s like ‘who was it?’ and I just say ‘not telling ya’ and then it’s not in my brain at all.”
But while Dommett might be remaining tight-lipped about exactly which stars are appearing on the new series, he did assure fans that “this year’s line up is amazing!”
This year there is one change to the judging panel, with Ken Jeong replaced by BAFTA-award winning comedian Mo Gilligan, and the newcomer has revealed just how much secrecy surrounds the show.
“I remember day one when I got in my car and I always talk to drivers – ‘Hey. How’s it going? You okay?’” Gilligan explained.
“And I remember the driver just said: “I’m good, I don’t know where I’m taking you and I’ve been told I’m not allowed to speak to you!” And then we got there and I’m just on the panel and even I had to go through SO many levels of security just to get to my dressing room.
“I was like wow this is so top secret. Sometimes you may think it’s just for TV but being involved in it…I had to go through five people just to get into the building!”
Meanwhile, Davina McCall, who takes up her seat on the panel for the second time, has said that she rather enjoys keeping the secret – although admitted that it can be hard to keep it from her kids.
“This is such a good secret to keep,” she said. “I mean this is such a fun one and you don’t want people to know. This is why I think the audience is so good at keeping it too because I think they know that if you know who is behind the mask it ruins everything.”
She added, “My kids were so annoying with me by saying ‘but we’re your kids you can tell us!’ When I’d say, ‘No, I can’t and it will ruin it for you’, they then said ‘but what do you mean? You’re our mother!’ So, it’s hard but it’s worth it!”
And Jonathan Ross explained that he takes a very hardline stance when people try to pry the information out of him, claiming that “I shut people down very quickly if they ask that.”
“Most people don’t, they get it,” he added. “If you say ‘if I told you it would spoil it’, they kind of understand that. You don’t want to be the one who spoils the fun for everyone.”