Charlie Simpson reveals meaning behind The Masked Singer costume

Charlie Simpson, recent winner of The Masked Singer, has revealed that he chose his rhino costume on the show as a nod to his wife’s childhood and family.

The former Busted frontman won ITV’s secret singing competition on Saturday evening, after he performed three songs including Lewis Capaldi’s “Before You Go”.

Now, the 37-year-old has explained the sentimental reason why he decided to opt for a rhino costume.

“My wife grew up in Kenya so I spend a lot of time in Kenya, and we spend a lot of time on safari,” said Simpson. “I actually walked with rhinos, and some of the rhinos, there’s only a handful of them left.”

He continued: “They’re really endangered and they have to be guarded by military personnel now, so the poachers don’t get them and I actually got to go and walk around with them, with these guards, it was incredible - with some of the last few remaining (rhinos) on Earth.”

The singer said that because of this, he wanted the costume to “represent that side of [his] family.

Simpson has been married to Anna Barnard since 2014. The couple share their sons Arlo and Jago together.

Simpson admitted that his “kids were blown away” by his unmasking on Saturday, which saw him beat Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson, who was disguised as Phoenix, and All Saints star Natalie Appleton as Fawn.

“They kind of knew,” he said explaining their reaction, before detailing how his youngest son, Jago was confused as to when he had taken part in the contest. “He went into himself a bit and was actually a bit quiet and the things that worried him the most were, ‘when did you do this?’, ‘how did I not know about it?’.”

“He started contemplating in his head and I was like ‘Jago don’t worry about it, it’s fine, I did it a while ago’ and it was just so sweet to see him suddenly start to think ‘how did this happen?’.

“But they loved it,” Simpson added.

Charlie Simpson (Getty Images)
Charlie Simpson (Getty Images)

The former frontman went on to recall a “terrifying” experience that happened during his time in Kenya with his wife: “We camped in the (Masai) Mara once, and there was a lion outside my tent.

“I’m not joking, you’re meant to have a guard that looks after your tent at night and ours wasn’t there,” he said adding: “And my wife was there, and this f****** lion, that literally sounded like a diesel engine, I would say, (was) 10 feet from our tent.

“And I said to my wife, ‘I don’t know what we’re supposed to do here because I’m f****** shitting myself.

The singer explained how he and Barnard had made a plan to set the tent alight and run - but “luckily the lion just pattered away”.

Simpson’s has even named his new EP after African wildlife; the title of his recent EP, Kifaru, translates to rhino in Swahili.

Additional reporting by Press Association