Steph McGovern: Masked Dancer character not my usual ‘bolshy Northern lass’ self

Steph McGovern has said performing on The Masked Dancer allowed her to take on a “completely different character” from her usual “bolshy Northern lass” self.

The TV presenter, who hosts Steph’s Packed Lunch on Channel 4, said it had been “really fun” adopting the “cute and affectionate and sweet” persona of Tomato Sauce while on the surreal ITV show.

Saturday evening’s episode saw McGovern, 40, become the fifth celebrity to be eliminated after facing Odd Socks in the knock-out round.

She told the PA news agency: “The experience is just sensational because you get to dance like nobody’s watching, even though they are all watching.

“You get to be a completely different character. I am nothing like this character I became.

“I’m not cute and affectionate and sweet and all that, which is what Tomato Sauce was.

“I’m like a bolshy Northern lass who is sarcastic. I’m not this cute. So that was in itself just really fun.

“Just (having) a bit of escapism from everything else going on in the world was really, really fun.

“The choreography, the costumes and all of that – it’s just a really amazing show to be part of. And anyone who’s even remotely thinking about it, just do it. What’s the worst that can happen?

“You go out in the first week. So what? You will still have had a great time dressed in some elaborate costume pretending to be someone else for a bit.”

TV Choice Awards 2019 – London
Steph McGovern said appearing on The Masked Dancer was ‘really, really fun’ (Matt Crossick/PA)

One of McGovern’s most well-received dances was to C’est La Vie by B*Witched in which she performed moves inspired by traditional Irish dance.

She said she had had to restrain herself during her 40th birthday party when the song came on as she did not want to reveal she was appearing on the show.

She said: “It was funny because my 40th birthday and party was in the middle of filming the show.

“And at my 40th birthday party C’est La Vie came on because it always does, because obviously I was dancing and all my mates get up and dance.

“And I really wanted to do the dance and I just had to hold myself back. Because nobody knew at this point so I was just like casually pretending not to really care that that song was on.”

Panellists Jonathan Ross, Oti Mabuse, Davina McCall and Peter Crouch guessed Tomato Sauce could be Rebel Wilson, Nadiya Hussain, Mick Hucknall or the correct answer of McGovern before she was unmasked.

Elsewhere on the weekend’s show, it was revealed that The Masked Dancer’s first double act, Pillar and Post, had been forced to withdraw from the competition.

The panel were given one final chance to guess who the disguised dancing duo might be, before they were revealed to be married couple goalkeeping hero David Seaman and ice skating star Frankie Poultney.