The Masked Singer judge on the series one winner being on the judging panel for the final
The Masked Singer panellist Davina McCall's phone has been lighting up every Saturday night recently - because her friends are all trying to get the show's secrets out of her!
Sadly for her pals, Davina's keeping tight-lipped about the identities of Sausage, Badger and Robin, the final three contestants in this year's competition - but she's all too happy to tell us about the joy that the show has been bringing her.
We chatted to Davina McCall, 53, about what's in store for the final of The Masked Singer...
Series one winner Nicola Roberts (aka Queen Bee) will be joining the panel for the final - was it nice to see her?
Davina McCall: "It was so lovely having her back! I think it was really nice for her to relive her experience of it in a way. She was saying, 'oh wow, look what it looks like from up here!' and really remembering what she was going through. I think it's a real celebration of being a canny actor in the final. People keep characters as much as they keep voices. The people who embody their costumes really do very well. I mean Sausage, what a belter - but you can totally feel her personality through the costume!"
Did you have an idea of which singers would make the final at the start of the series?
DM: "It's funny - you start with a completely blank page and they really don't want you to know anything. In the first few shows, I wasn't sure if Sausage was a guy, I wasn't sure if Dragon was a guy. I couldn't decipher the speaking voices! We could see that there were some amazing singers in there, but like I said, it's not just about the singing. It's always very difficult to call who's going to make it. When you think Sophie Ellis-Bextor [Alien] and Mel B [Seahorse] went out first - they're really big names, and great singers! It's very hard to call, always."
You've had some correct guesses this series on The Masked Singer - how does it feel when you get it right?
DM: "Having a correct guess on this show is like winning the lottery! I get so excited when I do, because I can't quite believe I've actually done it. This year, I thought the clues were particularly hard. It's very funny - people online keep getting really annoyed with us because we're not recognising people. But what they don't understand is we don't record it week by week, we record it all in one block in September. Otherwise we would have been completely swayed by social media, and we would have all got it right every time! Equally, if all of us got the name right the first week, it would be very boring."
Have there been any guesses that you've been hesitant about saying out loud?
DM: "What's quite nice is that my fellow judges put such random names out there that I've actually lost all embarrassment now! For quite a long time I was thinking that Badger was Brian Cox, because he was in D:Ream, so I feel that makes a sensible guess. But Brian Cox as a scientist, it's weird! But when you think about him, it's better than than most guesses - Jonathan's go right out there! I think he guesses Ann Widdecombe at some point every series. My favourite Rita guess was Alan Partridge, who isn't even a person!"
Have people been trying to get you to spill the show's secrets?
DM: "The emoji I use the most at the moment is the 'memoji' of me shrugging my shoulders. Come Saturday evening, and it starts literally at ten past seven, I just get a barrage of texts from all my friends! 'Is Badger so-and-so?' 'Is Sausage so-and-so?' And I just send them back the memoji shrug - I don't know!"
Did you have a favourite costume this series?
DM: "I know it sounds daft, but I really do love Dragon. There's something so cute about Dragon - and then she farts as well! I also love Badger, and the fact that he's brought so much character to it. Badger and Sausage have both brought such flavour to their costumes. It's been really clever how they've done that. The way Badger comes out and he's doing the rock symbol with his fingers, and we're all doing it too on the panel. I can't wait for you to see who it is - it's going to be so exciting!"
Who would you like to see take part in The Masked Singer in the future?
DM: "It would be great to have some American stars in there. I did think it would be really funny to have [series one panellist] Ken Jeong. That would be so good! I'd love to see some rocking women like Chrissie Hynde or Debbie Harry. Or actor-wise, Olivia Colman would be amazing. It would be great if we had a duo on and we had to guess who the duo is - Ant and Dec, or Eamonn and Ruth!"
The Masked Singer final airs on ITV at 7pm on Saturday 13 February (see our TV Guide for full listings).
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Steven Perkins is a Staff Writer for TV & Satellite Week, TV Times, What's On TV and whattowatch.com, who has been writing about TV professionally since 2008. He was previously the TV Editor for Inside Soap before taking up his current role in 2020. He loves everything from gritty dramas to docusoaps about airports and thinks about the Eurovision Song Contest all year round.