Masked Singer designer on how elaborate costumes are made shrouded in secrecy
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The Masked Singer UK is quickly becoming one of the UK's favourite and whackiest shows.
The ITV reality singing competition has viewers hooked by keeping the performers masked in some of the most elaborate costumes imaginable.
The show is already in its third season since the British version first aired in 2020 and has featured some unsuspected singing sensations in the form of Glenn Hoddle, Lenny Henry, Denies van Outen and Jason Manford, among a host of others.
The third series of the show began on New Year's Day and has already revealed Gloria Hunniford and Heather Small doing themselves proud.
The costumes, such as Heather's chandelier, often cause something of a stir.
So who makes the costumes for The Masked Singer and how much do they cost?
Who makes the costumes for The Masked Singer and what is the budget?
Designer Tim Simpson is the managing director of Brighton-based Plunge Creations, who make the costumes for the show.
The show's secrecy is such that even the budget cannot be revealed, but Tim was able to give the Daily Star some indication of what it costs to put together.
Laughing, Tim said: "I can't say [how much they cost]. I would say they are the cost of a classy wedding dress!
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"There are a significant number of hours that go into them. It is a team of six to eight people working for seven weeks, so they are a pricey piece of kit."
A quick Google of a classy wedding dress may give you some idea of just how much the costumes cost.
"Every single one of them is handmade, they're all bespoke, stitched by hand and sculpted by hand."
Are the Masked Singer costumes comfortable?
The nature of the whacky designs can mean that some of the performers are subjected to a slightly uncomfortable situation.
Hitting the right note can be difficult at the best of times, but trying to do it with an octopus strapped to your front can be even harder, as was the case with Welsh songstress Katherine Jenkins.
Tim explained that the team now tries to place an emphasis on making the performers comfortable.
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"I think in the first series we nearly broke a couple of the performers who suffered particularly harsh treatment! Halfway through the run we had to build a support system for the Octopus outfit," he said.
"As we have gone along, we try and make it more comfortable and easier to wear because it makes [for] a better performance.
"Otherwise, they're really dealing with singing inside a mask which is weird and if the costume is also really heavy then that is a problem."
Do the design team know who they are making it for?
The show is shrouded in secrecy as attempting to guess who the singer is what keeps the viewers watching.
It can make the process of making a costume for a mystery person quite difficult.
Tim said: "Through the process we have no idea who is going to wear it, so we have to work with a body double to actually do the fittings. That adds another layer of complication because no two bodies are exactly the same.
"We do [know] on the odd occasion. It is far easier if I get to chat to them. Normally, I have no idea."
With such a large range of weird and wonderful designs, it must be hard to pick a favourite. This series' Robo Bunny is Tim's favourite, a design in which his son Ted, 11, had a helping hand.
"It is dress-up day at school tomorrow. Sometimes he goes into school wearing costumes that are little bit too much.
"He went dressed as a camel in a full costume with a hump, tail and mask. At the end of the day, he was exhausted!"
The next episode of The Masked Singer airs on Saturday, January 8 at 7pm on ITV.
- The Masked Singer
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