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Watch: Natalie Imbruglia wins The Masked Singer as Panda
ITV has renewed its Saturday night guessing game The Masked Singer for two more series, due to run in 2023 and 2024.
The celebrity singing competition has been a reliable ratings hit for ITV since it debuted in 2020, with the third series finale last week securing an average of 6.3 million viewers.
Torn singer Natalie Imbruglia won the series as Panda, with Charlotte Church's Mushroom finishing as the runner-up and Westlife's Mark Feehily finishing third as Robobunny.
Speaking after her victory, Imbruglia said: "I thought it would be fun to sing with a mask on, no need to spend hours in hair and make-up.
"I liked the idea of hiding my identity and putting on an accent to throw people off the scent. I guess it's also an acting gig."
Imbruglia follows in the footsteps of previous winners Nicola Roberts, who was Queen Bee in 2020, and Joss Stone, who performed as Sausage in 2021.
In the wake of its continued success, ITV has sought to secure the franchise — which also includes spin-off The Masked Dancer — for a long-term future.
Katie Rawcliffe, head of entertainment commissioning at the channel, said: “The Masked Singer has once again established itself as unmissable event television, keeping the nation guessing throughout its glorious eight-week run.
“We’re already counting down to see who’s hiding behind those infamous masks in 2023 and look forward to welcoming the series back to ITV and ITV Hub next year.”
Managing director Derek McLean and creative director Daniel Nettleton of production company Bandicoot TV described the show as "an unrivalled Saturday night powerhouse" as they welcomed the ITV announcement.
They added: “The phenomenal audience reaction is evidenced by the vast viewing figures, fantastic fan engagement and unparalleled levels of social media sleuthing.
“We’re delighted that ITV has shown its long-term commitment to the show and with two new series of musical mayhem in the pipeline, we are already plotting the next spectacularly surreal season.”
The Masked Singer originated in South Korea as The King of Mask Singer and has since expanded to more than 50 countries.
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