Entertainment

The Masked Singer's first secret celebrity contestant revealed

Six unknown celebrities took to the stage in elaborate disguises as the new series kicked off.

Patsy Palmer has been revealed as the first celebrity taking part in new reality series The Masked Singer.

The ITV show sees stars singing while in disguise, and former EastEnders actress Palmer was the first to be eliminated by the panel, after losing to the other contestants, who are as yet unknown.

Palmer, who performed while dressed as a butterfly, said that it was “easier in the mask to sing because you think, well, I can just try and pretend to be anyone”.

Patsy Palmer
Patsy Palmer (Jonathan Brady/PA)

She added: “But it was really nerve-wracking. You didn’t guess my voice, so at least I’ve done my job.”

The all-star panel, comprising TV presenters Jonathan Ross and Davina McCall, singer and former X Factor judge Rita Ora and The Hangover star Ken Jeong, had guessed that Palmer could have been Cat Deeley, Zoe Ball, Dame Angela Lansbury or Joss Stone.

Ahead of her performance of You’ve Got The Love, Palmer had teased that she had been a DJ and that her wings had “carried me to foreign lands and now back again to the UK”, adding that “sadly my habitat has been threatened”.

She added: “Flowers have always played a big part in my life, I always remember the bouquet I carried when I walked down the aisle. Millions of people tuned in to see me tie the knot.”

Palmer joined EastEnders as Bianca Jackson in 1993, before leaving in 1999, returning again from 2008 until 2014.

Her character’s relationship with Sid Owen’s Ricky Butcher was a hit with fans and their on-screen wedding drew an audience of more than 22 million.

The programme saw five other famous faces perform while wearing elaborate costumes, including one dressed as a hedgehog, one as a chameleon and one as a unicorn.

The panel were convinced that celebrities such as Olivia Colman, Emilia Clarke, Dame Kelly Holmes, John Barrowman, Cara Delevingne, Adam Lambert and Idris Elba were among the contestants.

The stars performed in head-to-head situations, with the audience voting for which act out of every pair they would like to save.

The one who was not picked went into the bottom three, leaving Ross, McCall, Ora and Jeong to decide who would be sent home.

Celebrity contestants will only be unmasked if they are eliminated from the competition.

Although the celebrities are not judged on their singing, they still need to give a captivating performance to avoid being eliminated and having their identities revealed.

Based on a South Korean format, The Masked Singer has been a hit show in the US, where famous contestants have included rapper T-Pain, music stars Donny Osmond, Seal and Gladys Knight, and actress Rumer Willis.

Hollywood star Jeong has been on the panel on the US version of the show.

The Masked Singer, hosted by comedian Joel Dommett, continues on Sunday at 8pm on ITV.

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