EXCLUSIVE: The Masked Singer is preparing to take to the mic again for ITV in September. The British version of the Korean singing contest is set to be among the first tranche of UK entertainment shows to be filmed in front of a live studio audience following the coronavirus pandemic.
Produced by Argonon-backed Bandicoot TV, the show will return to Bovingdon Studios, north of London, for its second season shoot, which will take place over eight nights starting on September 14.
SRO Audiences, which is handling ticketing for the show, said on its website that audience members will need to agree to detailed coronavirus guidance and protocols before attending. Those breaking rules will be removed or refused entry.
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Government guidelines on social distancing will be enforced, meaning that people can only sit together if they are part of the same social bubble. Temperature checks will also be carried out on arrival, though the guidance does not say anything about wearing a mask. Audience members will also have to provide their phone numbers for test and trace purposes.
SRO warned, however, that people attend at their own risk. “It is important that you understand that we are not able to guarantee that you will not be exposed to COVID-19. Therefore, you should consider both your own medical health (and any specific risks associated with COVID-19) and that of those in your household or others with whom you may come into contact with. By attending the filming, you agree that you understand the risks,” it said.
The Masked Singer is able to film in front of an audience after the UK government greenlit indoor performances last week. As well as The Masked Singer, a number of other UK studio shows are being staged in front of an audience again from this month, including BBC Two’s QI and ITV’s Family Fortunes and Britain’s Got Talent.
ITV director of television Kevin Lygo has previously said that getting The Masked Singer back into production will be more manageable than some other shows because it is filmed in an “enclosed, guarded space.” The celebrity singing contest was a big hit for ITV earlier this year, garnering live audiences of up to 6.4M viewers. It was hosted by comedian Joel Dommett, while the judges included Ken Jeong, who features on the Fox version.
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