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New spin-off series The Masked Dancer premiers on Saturday 29 May with a roster of quirky contestants including Frog, Beetroot, Viper, Rubber Chicken, Flamingo, Knickerbocker Glory, Llama, Zip, Car Wash, Beagle and Scarecrow.
Judging the disguised celebrities are returning panelists Jonathan Ross, Davina McCall and Mo Gilligan and newcomer – two-time Strictly Come Dancing champion – Oti Mabuse.
However, it’s not just the contestants and judge Oti who have moves as the Strictly star recently exposed Mo’s secret dance experience. Turns out the comedian went to performing arts school when he learned ballet and contemporary dance – skills that should stand him in good stead for his latest telly gig!
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Speaking in a joint interview alongside Mo, Oti explained: “If you actually listen to Mo and what he says, he says some key information. Mo actually studied performing arts and he can actually dance. I remember once we were talking about contemporary and he said about standing like a tree.”
Mo continued with a joke: “I stand like a tree, I was the best acorn tree you have ever seen!”
He added: “I had a little bit of experience and I thought coming into this show I'd be like, ‘Ooh, I kind of know what I'm talking about!’”
According to The Sun, Mo claimed he “would have been in the Royal Ballet but [he] did [his] knee in.”
When asked about her her fellow panelists Strictly pro Oti said: “I’d rate them all as a ten. I have individual moments with everyone where we all just dance and it’s really nice. When somebody does a good dance, we all get up and support because that’s the vibe.”
She said: “Jonathan is the king of dance — he’s the ultimate dad dancer. He has this little bum wiggle.”
“Joel [Dommett] is like the prince of dance with his ‘running man’ and Davina’s the queen of dance who just does the whole Beyonce.
“But Mo is actually trained as a dancer — did you not know that? I’ve never seen him dance but I think he can surprise us.”
Despite his dance background, Mo admitted he relies more on his gut to guess which celeb is hiding behind each mask.
“Davina's like, 'trust your judgement', and that's what I do. All that contemporary Bob Fosse stuff is all out the window,” he laughs. “I'm still writing one name!”
The Masked Dancer will air this Saturday, May 29 at 7pm on ITV. Episodes will continue to air nightly across the following week, except Wednesday, June 2.
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