Viper’s identity revealed on first episode of The Masked Dancer

·2-min read
<p>The dancer behind Viper was revealed on Saturday</p> (PA)

The dancer behind Viper was revealed on Saturday


Diversity star Jordan Banjo is the first celebrity to be unmasked on The Masked Dancer.

Banjo, 28, was revealed as being the mystery celebrity who took to the stage as Viper in the first episode of the ITV series.

The programme, a spin-off to hit series The Masked Singer, sees 12 celebrity contestants performing unique dances as the panel of Jonathan Ross, Oti Mabuse, Davina McCall and Mo Gilligan try to guess their identities.

After landing in the bottom three alongside Knickerbocker Glory and Beetroot, the panel decided to unmask Banjo’s character Viper.

He said of taking part in The Masked Dancer: “The past 12 months everyone has just been in a place where it’s like, it just hasn’t been fun and something like The Masked Dancer is about coming on here, dressing up stupid and having a laugh and like let’s just have some fun man.”

Ahead of his performance, Banjo’s clues to his identity had included boxing references, with the dancing star later explaining his father was a boxer and his son is named Cassius, a nod to Muhammad Ali.

Prior to his unveiling, Banjo’s name was mentioned alongside former Love Island contestants Tommy Fury and Curtis Pritchard, as well as boxer Anthony Joshua.

Jordan Banjo, left (Getty Images)
Jordan Banjo, left (Getty Images)

After the episode aired, McCall tweeted a string of red heart emojis writing: “Love that !!! Love u @Jordan_Banjo #MaskedDancerUK”.

The first episode also saw the characters Zip, Llama, and Scarecrow performing.

Following Zip’s performance, the panel guessed the mystery celebrity could be RuPaul’s Drag Race host, RuPaul, Judge Rinder or Nigel Farage.

New panel member Mabuse guessed it may be Dermot O’Leary, while Gilligan said he thought it could be someone older and named Chris Evans.

Guesses for who could be the Llama included Zoe Ball, Sara Cox and Kerry Katona, with names bandied about for Scarecrow included actress Sian Gibson, Stacey Dooley, Fleur East and Michelle Keegan.

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Other characters still to perform include Squirrel, Carwash, Flamingo, Rubber Chicken, Frog and Beagle.

Speaking ahead of the series starting, Ross explained that there are more clues dotted throughout performances.

He said: “There are more clues and not just in the packages but also there are clues in the music they’re dancing to and in the props on stage, in the designs on the screens behind them and on what the dancers around them are wearing and on what they’re wearing. The costumes on some of them change every night.”

Joss Stone was crowned champion of The Masked Singer earlier this year, after she was revealed to be Sausage.

The Masked Dancer on ITV and the ITV Hub continues at 7.30pm on Sunday.

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