The Masked Dancer: what is reality TV spin-off, who are the judges - and when will the series air in the UK?

Most of The Masked Singer judges will return, with Strictly Come Dancing star Oti Mabuse replacing pop star Rita Ora on the panel

Friday, 5th March 2021, 9:15 am

Following on from the hit TV show The Masked Singer, celebrities will take to the dance floor in a new series The Masked Dancer.

Famous contestants will continue to don extravagant and colourful costumes to keep their identities hidden while performing a dance, rather than a song.

A panel of judges will offer its take on the performance as they - along with detectives at home - attempt to guess who the identity of The Masked Dancer is.

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Three of The Masked Singer judges Mo Gilligan, Davina McCall, Joel Dommett (presenter), Rita Ora and Jonathan Ross will return for The Masked Dancer. (Pic: PA)

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What is The Masked Dancer’s format?

Twelve celebrities will feature in The Masked Dancer series.

All 12 contestants will take on characters alter egos on the dance floor in a bid to wow the panel and confuse judges and the audience with their moves.

There will be help along the way, however, as clue packages will accompany every Masked Dancer to give detectives in the studio and at home a chance to guess who is behind the mask.

The mystery line up will be put through their paces and demonstrate a variety of dances from ballet to ballroom, salsa to swing and everything in between.

How did The Masked Dancer idea originate?

Following the success of The Masked Singer, which saw an average audience size of 8.6 million viewers tune in for the final, ITV - and viewers - want more.

Soul singer Joss Stone took the honours in a series which also saw singers Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Mel B, Morten Harket and Gabrielle don extravagant costumes on stage.

Comedian Sir Lenny Henry, TV presenter Sue Perkins, actor John Thomson, former footballer Glenn Hoddle and actress Martine McCutcheon were all part of the show’s success.

And if ITV bosses can attract similar stars to compete in the spin-off, The Masked Dancer, then it looks like they will have another hit show on their hands.

Who will be The Masked Dancer judges?

It looks like ITV has kept faith with what works from The Masked Singer show, with three of the four judges returning for the commissioned dance spin-off.

TV personalities Jonathan Ross, Mo Gilligan and Davina McCall are expected to feature as judges in the programme alongside presenter Joel Dommett.

Strictly Come Dancing star Oti Mabuse will be the fourth judge for the show, in place of pop singer Rita Ora who made up the panel on The Masked Singer.

“I’m so thrilled and honoured to be joining the panel on The Masked Dancer,” said Mabuse. “As a dancer I will be watching the dancers intently, looking for clues – it’s going to be so much fun!”

When will The Masked Dancer air in the UK?

A version of The Masked Dancer has already aired in the US, with ITV saying the UK series will be released in “late spring”.

ITV’s head of entertainment commissioning Katie Rawcliffe said: “The Masked Singer is a huge hit for ITV and our viewers can’t get enough of this colourful guessing game.

“The Masked Dancer will build on that success and create a new format that will be just as much fun and entertaining for our viewers.”

The series will be produced by Bandicoot Scotland and the executive producers are Derek McLean, Daniel Nettleton and Claire Horton.