ITV commissions dancing spin-off of The Masked Singer

Rita Ora will be absent from the programme's star panel.

ITV has commissioned The Masked Dancer, a spin-off to hit series The Masked Singer.

The programme, which will air in the spring, will see celebrity contestants perform routines while disguised in extravagant costumes, as a star panel tries to guess their identities.

The Masked Singer judges Jonathan Ross, Mo Gilligan and Davina McCall will feature in the programme alongside presenter Joel Dommett.

Oti Mabuse interview
Oti Mabuse will be on The Masked Dancer panel (Isabel Infantes/PA)

However, Rita Ora will not be on the panel, instead being replaced by Strictly Come Dancing star Oti Mabuse.

Mabuse said: “I’m so thrilled and honoured to be joining the panel on The Masked Dancer.

“As a dancer I will be watching the dancers intently, looking for clues – it’s going to be so much fun!”

McCall said: “I love playing detective and I love dancing so what could be better?!

“I’m currently swotting up on all things dance in preparation and I will be watching those celebrity feet like a hawk.

“They always have such an amazing cast on The Masked Singer so it could literally be anyone hiding and dancing behind those masks and that’s what makes it so exciting.”

The Masked Singer Press Launch – London
Jonathan Ross (Scott Garfitt/PA)

Ross said: “What people don’t know is that secretly I am an expert in dance and can spot a ball change from a box step no problem.

“The title of best detective on the panel is most certainly coming my way!”

Gilligan 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.”

Last month ITV revealed that an average audience of 8.6 million viewers watched the final of The Masked Singer, which was won by soul singer Joss Stone.

Singers Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Mel B, Morten Harket and Gabrielle, comedian Sir Lenny Henry, television presenter Sue Perkins, actor John Thomson, former footballer Glenn Hoddle and actress Martine McCutcheon had their identities revealed earlier in the series.

Katie Rawcliffe, ITV’s head of entertainment commissioning, 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 for our viewers.”

A version of The Masked Dancer has already aired in the US.

The series will begin in “late spring”, ITV said.

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