ITV commissions The Masked Singer
ITV has commissioned Scottish indie, Bandicoot (part of Argonon Group), to produce a new UK version of the Korean and US smash hit series The Masked Singer, which will air as a stripped event on the Network in 2020.
The Masked Singer is the surreal and surprising, singing game show that’s taken the planet by storm. Originally gaining global acclaim as the Korean format The King of Mask Singer, the series was a big hit in Asia, and captivated millions around the globe through viral clips on social media.
In the US, The Masked Singer launched to a multiplatform consolidated audience of 17.6 million, making it Fox’s most-watched unscripted debut in 11 years, and the most-watched unscripted debut on any network for 7 years.
Now ITV and Bandicoot are bringing this utterly bonkers and brilliantly noisy phenomenon to British viewers, for an eight-part series airing across consecutive nights in 2020.
Part guessing game and part singing show, this spectacular series will see 12 famous faces compete to pull off the best performance, with their identity elaborately and imaginatively concealed, thanks to an expert team of talented costume designers. The stars will be transformed and they will take on a masked identity and become a fantastic character which will disguise them for the whole series.
Forget any thoughts of fancy dress – they’ll be full-on, original, movie-standard creations taking inspiration from worlds as varied as manga, superheroes, and wild animals and mythical creatures. Their transformations will be total, even their speaking voices will be disguised in interviews.
It will be up to a superstar panel to lead the viewers at home in their quest to discover who they are. Although the stars aren’t judged on their voices, they’ll still need to give their best performance – the audience’s least favourite will be eliminated, before the panel try to guess their identity and unmask them.
The Masked Singer was commissioned by Kevin Lygo, ITV’s Director of Television and Siobhan Greene, ITV’s Head of Entertainment Commissioning. Derek McLean and Daniel Nettleton will executive produce alongside Claire Horton.
Siobhan Greene said: “Not very often, a show comes along that seems to abandon all the rules…. and this is it. The Masked Singer is original, bold, funny and a proper guessing game, that we hope will have the nation hooked. We all loved it from the moment we saw it and are so excited to be bringing it to a UK audience.”
Bandicoot founders, Derek McLean and Daniel Nettleton, added: “Bandicoot is delighted to be working with ITV to bring The Masked Singer to the UK. As a young Scottish indie, we are hugely excited to be part of such a successful global format. The Masked Singer combines the entertainment values of the most bonkers singing show imaginable with the guessing game and laughter of the best comedy panel show. With madcap costumes and cunning disguises, we have no doubt the audience will love the outlandish performances and revel in playing the guessing game. It’s less of a whodunnit and more of a whosungit!”
About Bandicoot Bandicoot is a multi-genre Scottish indie, founded by Derek McLean and Daniel Nettleton and is a joint venture with Argonon Group. Bandicoot was formed to advance the pair’s passion for wild and twisted entertainment formats – bringing together their collective experience in reality, factual, formats and comedy in one genre-busting label. Producing nearly 30 hours of entertainment in the last year, Bandicoot’s original formats include BBC One’s strategy gameshow, Chase the Case and car-based gameshow, Test Drive, which returns shortly for its second series on BBC Scotland.
About Argonon Group
Founded in 2011 by CEO James Burstall, Argonon is an independent production group headquartered in London with offices in Manchester, Glasgow, New York and Vancouver. Argonon is led by a board of creatives and entrepreneurs with James Burstall (CEO), Laura Bessell (COO), David Dugan (Chairman, Windfall Films).
The group consists of 12 companies producing multi award-winning programming for a wide range of major broadcasters in the UK, the USA and Canada, and specialises in factual, factual entertainment, entertainment, drama, arts, comedy and children’s programming. The group has won Emmys, BAFTAs, RTS Awards and many others – more than 60 in total and over 150 nominations.
Argonon is made up of Leopard Pictures, Leopard USA, Remedy Productions, Windfall Films, BriteSpark Films, Transparent Television, Barefaced TV and Bandicoot. Argonon also has its own successful rights and intellectual property distribution company with a catalogue of more than 2,000 hours of content – Argonon International.
In 2017 and 2016, the London Stock Exchange cited Argonon as one of 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain. In 2016 Argonon was featured in the Sunday Times HSBC Fast Track 200.
Argonon Group brings together exceptional creative and business talent from around the world and is committed to fostering a true spirit of independence and diversity both on and off-screen. argonon.com