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5 secrets about The Masked Singer that may surprise you

The show has many a secret up its sleeve

Francesca Shillcock

We can't wait for the new series of The Masked Singer to arrive on our screens. But until its return on Boxing Day, we've got a special behind the scenes episode with Joel Dommett this weekend as he explores what it really takes to put on the most bizarre but hugely entertaining show on TV.

MORE: The Masked Singer season two's new characters are here - and they are amazing!

There's little known about the ITV programme due its locked-down nature, but here are a few bits of trivia that you may not know…

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WATCH: See the new costumes for The Masked Singer series two

The masked singers have a time limit in their costumes

Some of the costumes certainly don't look easy to move around in, so it's no wonder that the producers have given a time limit for the celebrities to wear them.

After taking inspiration from Disney, producers Derek McLean and Daniel Nettleton decided that each celebrity could only wear their costume for a maximum of 20 minutes at a time to prevent them from becoming overwhelmed.

Speaking last year prior to the show's first series, they said: "We took inspiration from Disney. That's how long Minnie and Mickey Mouse can be in their costumes before going doolally. We ended up being quite strict about it. You don't want celebrities in costumes going crazy all over the place."

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Series two airs on Boxing Day on ITV

The masked singers are given code names

If you're familiar with the programme, then you'll know it's incredibly dedicated to keeping the secrecy of the masked singers. While this sounds like a logistical nightmare, the producers and team running the show are experts at keeping the identities hidden and when it comes to filming, they've got ways around it. Each celebrity in a mask is given a code name – clever!

Last year, the contestants revealed which names they were given after they were unmasked. Former Labour Party MP Alan Johnson, who was dressed as the Pharaoh, was referred to as "Stamp", perhaps a nod to his old job as a postman.

Former EastEnders actress Patsy Palmer, who was Butterfly, was "Square", while Justin Hawkins, who fronts rock band The Darkness and was dressed as the Chameleon, was referred to as "Light."

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Who will be unmasked this time?

The masked singers' contracts were extremely strict

Given the secrecy of the show, the celebrities themselves have to be trusted to keep the secret as well. To the extent that they all had to sign contracts, outlining that they couldn't reveal their identity to anyone – not even family. However, during filming last year, each celebrity was allowed to have one person accompany them, but they had to be disguised also.

The producers revealed in 2019: "It was written into their contracts that they couldn't tell anyone, even their families, what was going on. In the end they were as worried about their secret getting out as we were." Now that's dedication!

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Mo Gilligan is joining the panel for the second series

Some of the masked singers found the costumes challenging

Despite the time limit they were given, some of the celebrities since series one finished have admitted that wearing the costumes has been a real challenge. The producers explained how Queen Bee was previously suffering with claustrophobia while dressed in their costume, and also explained how for Justin Hawkins (Chameleon), the singer found it difficult to sing in his costume.

"Justin really struggled with his mask at first," explained Daniel, adding: "Because he's used to moving the microphone while he’s singing and he wasn’t able to do that. But now he keeps calling me, trying to get hold of the mask because he really wants to keep it." We cannot wait to see who's revealed next!

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The new series was put into jeopardy

The new episodes were filmed in front of a live, socially distanced audience, and now the team behind the scenes are reportedly concerned that, due to increased popularity and interest around the show, many of the celebrities' true identities have already been "leaked".

According to the Mirror, the report states that a number of audience members have been spreading the word about the contestants, putting the show at risk. However, any names of celebrities taking part are yet to be publicly announced – so here's hoping the fun won't be spoiled!

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