ITV boss worried The Masked Singer contestants won’t be famous enough

Kevin Lygo concerned UK celebs will be more Christopher Biggins than Donny Osmond

ITV’s programming boss is concerned that The Masked Singer might cast celebrity contestants that viewers won’t recognise.

Reality show bookers constantly face the thankless task of striking a balance between big stars and entertaining personalities.

Social media is awash with instant reaction, with Z-list names often provoking comments such as ‘who?’ and ‘worst line-up ever’.

Now ITV’s new show The Masked Singer is seemingly under more pressure than ever to get the mix just right.

A talent contest-slash-guessing game, it features celebs performing to the nation while dressed in elaborate character costumes.

They must keep their identities secret throughout the series – as when they’re sent home, a panel of judges tries to guess who they really are.

ITV snapped up the South Korean format after it became a huge hit in the United States, attracting 14million viewers.

However, the broadcaster’s director of programmes Kevin Lygo seems all too aware that it relies on the shock factor when the celebs pull their masks off.

Speaking at last week’s Edinburgh International Television Festival, Lygo admitted worries that the show’s participants won’t be famous enough.

The Masked Singer will be a big camp fest,” he said. “The challenge for the production company is that, when the big reveal comes, you don’t go, who the f**k is that?”

Giving examples from the American version, he joked: “They got Donny Osmond and La Toya Jackson.

“We’ll probably have Su Pollard and Christopher Biggins!”

Recent reports suggest that comedian Joel Dommett will front The Masked Singer, in what would be his biggest presenting gig to date.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Ross has reportedly signed up to join the panel as its lead judge.

Bosses have yet to confirm their involvement – but official news is likely imminent, as filming is about to begin.

The show tapes at Bovingdon Airfield in the second half of September, with audience tickets available via SRO Audiences.

The Masked Singer’s eight-episode first series will air stripped across consecutive nights on ITV in early 2020.