ITV is officially bringing ratings smash The Masked Singer to the UK

Bonkers celebrity guessing game will air across eight consecutive nights in 2020

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ITV has finally confirmed a UK version of The Masked Singer after it became a ratings sensation around the world.

The surreal entertainment show sees 12 celebrity contestants compete in a singing competition - while wearing disguises.

An expert team completely transforms them in to unique characters, which they must maintain throughout the whole series.

Even their speaking voices are modified so they do not give away who they are.

In each episode, the mystery stars do everything to pull off the best performance possible before a superstar panel - who will not judge their voices.

the masked singer
Example costumes from the US version

Instead, viewers vote for their favourite characters, and whoever gets the least support faces elimination.

Before the unlucky loser leaves the competition, the panel must try to guess their identity and unmask them.

The bonkers concept originated in South Korea as 'The King of Mask Singer', gaining global attention through viral clips on social media.

American broadcaster FOX soon ordered its own adaptation, which became an instant ratings smash earlier this year.

The very first episode attracted a multiplatform audience of 17.6million viewers, making The Masked Singer the biggest non-scripted debut on US television in seven years.

The huge success reportedly sparked a bidding war for the UK version, which is being produced by newbie firm Bandicoot.

ITV will air its first series in early 2020 as a television event, stripped across eight consecutive nights.

Bosses promise the costumes will be "full-on, movie-standard creations" ranging from manga and superheroes to animals and mythical creatures.

ITV entertainment commissioner 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: "As a young Scottish indie, we are hugely excited to be part of such a successful global format.

"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!"

The news comes in the same week that Australia's Network Ten announced it is launching The Masked Singer down under.

Other countries getting on board with the phenomenon include France, Germany and the Netherlands.

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