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'The Masked Dancer UK' — judges, format and all you need to know

The Masked Dancer UK
The Masked Dancers arrived in the UK. (Image credit: ITV)

The Masked Dancer UK is now on ITV, following the huge success of The Masked Singer which saw a consolidated audience of 10 million viewers tuning in to the finale. 

The new series is made up of seven 90 minute long episodes, available on ITV and the ITV Hub.

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 our viewers.”

The Masked Dancer UK release date

The Masked Dancer UK started on Saturday 29 May on ITV and the final aired on Saturday June 5th. You can catch up on the complete season on ITV Hub now. 

All episodes of The Masked Singer are available to stream on demand via BritBox and the US version is available on ITV Hub.

The Masked Dancer characters

The Masked Dancer kept fans guessing for an entire week.  (Image credit: ITV)

How does The Masked Dancer work?

The nation's favourite guessing game, The Masked Singer, has come back with a twist, with dance routines as opposed to musical numbers. Throughout the series we have seen celebrity contestants performing unique dances, whilst covered from head to toe in extravagant, colourful costumes and masks, leaving the viewers and star panel to guess their identities. 

Mystery celebrities competed over the course of a week to be crowned the winner of the competition, with the winner announced in the grand final. 

Find out below who was behind each mask and who was crowned the winner of The Masked Dancer 2021 below. WARNING - don't scroll down if you don't want spoilers!  

What are the costumes for The Masked Dancer 2021? 

Have you ever wanted to see a frog performing a foxtrot, or perhaps a breakdancing beetroot? Now is your chance! Below are all 12 characters that are taking part in the first ever The Masked Dancer UK.

Character Designer Tim Simpson — the managing director of Plunge Creations, the company that creates costumes for the series — says the celebs had an input on the costumes. "The performers got involved at an earlier stage, as there’s more rehearsal time. They came back with notes like, 'I’m going to spin on my head', and 'I can’t turn my head fast enough, because there’s too much weight in the costume'."

As to which costumes stood out for him, he adds: "Rubber Chicken. It looks slightly horrid, but it’s really funny and I think it has got real charm. Llama is handsome and dapper — there’s something slightly Bridgerton about Llama!  I don’t know if the performer inside is male or female, but it looks like a male Llama. And Viper’s got a lot of punch. It’s a real mixture, that’s what is nice about it — a crazy Masked Dancer family."

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The Masked Dancer Beetroot

Beetroot (Image credit: ITV)

Beetroot has been unmasked as burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese.

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The Masked Dancer Carwash

Carwash (Image credit: ITV)

Carwash was crowned winner of the series and was revealed as gymnast Louis Smith.

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The Masked Dancer Rubber Chicken

Rubber Chicken (Image credit: ITV)

Rubber Chicken was revealed to be Eddie the Eagle!

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The Masked Dancer Beagle

Beagle (Image credit: ITV)

Figure skating legend Christopher Dean was unmasked as Beagle!

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The Masked Dancer Flamingo

Flamingo (Image credit: ITV)

Louise Redknapp was unmasked as Flamingo.

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The Masked Dancer Frog

Frog (Image credit: ITV)

Frog was unmasked as model and actress, Kelly Brook.

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The Masked Dancer Knickerbocker Glory

Knickerbocker Glory (Image credit: ITV)

Knickerbocker Glory was unmasked as Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood.

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The Masked Dancer Lama

Llama (Image credit: ITV)

Zoe Ball was hiding behind Llama.

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The Masked Dancer Scarecrow

Scarecrow (Image credit: ITV)

EastEnders actress Tamzin Outhwaite was behind the Scarecrow costume.

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The Masked Dancer Squirrel

Squirrel (Image credit: ITV)

Everyone was shocked to see Bonnie Langford hiding behind the Squirrel mask.

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The Masked Dancer Viper

Viper (Image credit: ITV)

Viper was the first to be unmasked and was none other than Diversity star Jordan Banjo.

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The Masked Dancer Zip

Zip (Image credit: ITV)

Zip was revealed to be Take That legend Howard Donald.

Which celebrities took part in The Masked Dancer? 

EPISODE ONE

The first celebrity to be unmasked was Jordan Banjo from Diversity fame... he was dressed as Viper and despite giving it his all in a very energetic dance he was the first of the celebrities to be revealed.

EPISODE TWO

Flamingo was the second character to be unmasked, and hiding behind the elaborate pink costume was none other than singer and Strictly Come Dancing star Louise Redknapp. 

 EPISODE THREE 

The third celebrity to be revealed was American burlesque star Dita Von Teese, who was dressed as Beetroot. Dita was the most surprising unmasking so far, with none of the panellists guessing her identity.  

EPISODE FOUR

Viewers said goodbye to Rubber Chicken in the fourth episode, as they were unmasked as former Olympian Eddie the Eagle. He took part in the dance-off against Frog, whose identity remains a secret.

EPISODE FIVE

There was a double elimination in episode 5, with judges shocked to find ice skating legend Christopher Dean hiding behind Beagle. Meanwhile, Radio DJ Zoe Ball was unmasked as Llama, and not Vicky McClure as some had guessed!

EPISODE SIX - the semi final 

There was another double elimination in the semi-final of The Masked Dancer 2021 which saw Strictly Come Dancing legend Craig Revel Horwood revealed as Knickerbocker Glory and actress and model Kelly Brook unmasked as Frog. Panelist Oti Mabuse had a very successful evening guessing both celebrities behind the masks - with everyone else on the panel getting their guesses totally wrong! 

EPISODE SEVEN - the final 

The final saw Squirrel, Carwash, Zip and Scarecrow all battling it out to be crowned winner of the series. In the end Scarecrow, who was revealed to be EastEnders actress Tamzin Outhwaite, came fourth, while Take That legend Howard Donald came third as Zip. Squirrel and Carwash were left as the final two, but in the end Carwash took the winner's crown and was revealed as gymnast and former Strictly Come Dancing winner Louis Smith. While Louis' identity had been guessed by Davina on the panel, everyone was stunned when runner up Squirrel was revealed to be actress and dancer Bonnie Langford.  

Who are the judges for The Masked Dancer?

Strictly Come Dancing star Oti Mabuse joined the judging panel of The Masked Dancer, bringing her wealth of expertise to the exciting competition. Speaking about her role, she said: "I’m so thrilled and honoured to be joining the panel on The Masked Dancer. I’m a huge fan of The Masked Singer and I loved the US Masked Dancer so I just can’t wait to start on this show. As a dancer I will be watching the dancers intently looking for clues — it’s going to be so much fun!!!"

Oti joined fellow judges Jonathan Ross, Mo Gilligan and Davina McCall, who appeared on The Masked Singer and are already very familiar with the format. 

Talking about the series, Oti reveals: "Sometimes I forget that I'm on the show because I'm having so much fun. You are going to see the inside of my mouth because I'm laughing so hard! It's a great, great show — kids are going to love it because of the outfits and the masks, and grown-ups are just going to have fun guessing the famous celebrities."

Mo Gilligan adds: "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."

A composite shot of all four Masked Dancer panellists and host Joel Dommett, standing on a stage with spotlights shining behind them

Strictly Come Dancing professional Oti Mabuse joined the regular panelists for The Masked Dancer.  (Image credit: ITV / Bandicoot TV)

Who's hosting the series?

Joel Dommett returned for presenting duties, after previously hosting The Masked Singer. He introduced all the acts, and ensure he keeps their true identities hidden from everyone involved!

Joel said: “Well, this is set to be an amazing fun twist…will someone do the twist?! The Masked Dancer is that little bit of silly fun our lives need right now and I’m so excited to be hosting it. I’m looking forward to some incredible costumes, epic performances and accidentally saying Masked Singer at least five times.”

Is there a trailer?

ITV released a promo video giving us a first look at the costumes, confirming that 12 celebrities will be taking part in the competition. The costumes for this series are Zip, Carwash, Beagle, Squirrel, Scarecrow, Frog, Beetroot, Viper, Rubber Chicken, Flamingo, Knickerbocker Glory, and Llama.

The Masked Dancer UK might be over for now, but you can watch the US version of the show in these places...