Peter Crouch on the ‘madness’ of joining The Masked Dancer panel

·2-min read

Former professional footballer Peter Crouch has said his children are more interested in him joining the panel of The Masked Dancer than his extensive sporting career.

The ex-striker, 41, is stepping in for Mo Gilligan for the second series of the surreal ITV guessing game as the comedian is unavailable due to touring commitments.

He joins returning celebrity detectives, former Strictly Come Dancing star Oti Mabuse, chat show host Jonathan Ross and TV presenter Davina McCall.

Comedian and presenter Joel Dommett will once again host the show.

Ahead of the first episode, Crouch said: “It’s madness. Completely different to anything that I’ve ever done before.

“My kids love the show. I played football for England and Liverpool, I played in cup finals, played in the Premier League and played in world cups, but my kids, the only thing they want to talk to me about is The Masked Dancer.

The Masked Singer Press Launch – London
Davina McCall returns to the panel (Scott Garfitt/PA)

“They absolutely love it. They came and watched one of the shows and absolutely loved it and it’s all they’ve talked about since.”

Crouch said that after his footballing career he was now doing things “because they look like they’re going to be a lot of fun”.

He added: “I feel in a real privileged position to be able to do that. I just absolutely love doing The Masked Dancer, it’s loads of fun.

“No-one’s taking themselves too seriously and the dancers are just really going for it. My kids are just so proud of me, which is great.”

Crouch said he had a “really good dynamic” with the other celebrity panellists.

“I’m the new boy, but I’ve moved clubs so many times in football I’m quite used to that anyway. Everyone’s just been so friendly,” he said.

“Jonathan and Davina, they have both been in this world for so long and are absolute legends at what they do. Oti’s been lovely, she’s the proper dance critic.

“And Joel’s fantastic at what he does. He always brings a smile to everyone’s face. I’ve really got on well with the group and it’s been fun.”

Dommett said Crouch had been “taking it seriously” since joining the panel.

He added: “He’s a sportsman so he wants to win and that’s made him a great sportsman and also a good detective on the show.”

Ross admitted they had made Crouch do his famous robot dance move, which he debuted in 2006 while celebrating a goal.

McCall said working with the sportsman had made her very popular among some of her friends.

“He’s given me massive kudos with all the men and female football fans in my life,” she said.

The Masked Dancer series two starts on Saturday September 3 at 6.30pm on ITV and ITV Hub.