'The Masked Dancer' signs Peter Crouch as new judge

Television pundit Peter Crouch looks on during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Liverpool FC at Molineux on January 23, 2020 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images)
Peter Crouch will be judging The Masked Dancer. (Getty Images)

The Masked Dancer is returning for a second series with footballer Peter Crouch on the judging panel.

Last year saw the debut of the Masked Singer spin-off become an instant hit with viewers, but in its follow up series, regular Masked Dancer and Singer judge Mo Gilligan will be replaced by former England striker Crouch.

Comedian Gilligan can't make the show because he'll be on tour, so Crouch, famed for his love of the robot dance, is being subbed in for him and will sit alongside last year's other panel members Jonathan Ross, Davina McCall and Oti Mabuse.

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Mo Gilligan on The Masked Singer
Mo Gilligan is taking a break from the series while he tours the US. (Bandicoot TV)

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New signing Crouch, married to former Strictly Come Dancing winner Abbey Clancy, said: "The show is a firm favourite in our household and when asked I jumped at the chance to take part. I am competitive and I'm currently scrolling through friends' socials looking for those tell-tale dance moves.

"Another plus is by being on the panel my social media, family and friends won’t be constantly speculating that I’m hiding behind one of the masks!"

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Gilligan, who is due to return to the panel for a guest appearance during the series, said: "I love being a part of the Masked Team so I’m gutted to be missing most of the series this year as I’ll be working in the US.

"BUT I’ve got the perfect sub to take my place. A legend on and off the pitch and one of the nicest guys in the industry, Crouchy knows a thing or two about fancy footwork, we’ve got this!"

Joel Dommett will also be back to host the competition, which sees 12 new mystery celebrities costume up to show off their best moves.

As with The Masked Singer, the panel's job is to guess who's behind the mask as they and the studio audience choose their favourite dancers to put through each round of the competition.

Last year, Olympic gymnast Louis Smith won the first series of the show dressed as Car Wash, with other famous contestants unmasked including Zoe Ball as Llama, Craig Revel Horwood as Knickerbocker Glory, Christopher Dean as Beagle and Kelly Brook as Frog.

The return date for The Masked Dancer has not yet been announced, but last year it ran every night for a week in late May and early June.

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