The costume creator on The Masked Singer wanted to make a PPE themed outfit to mark the dawn of coronavirus on the show but was shut down by telly chiefs.
Tim Simpson, managing director at Plunge, felt there could be an acknowledgement of the pandemic on the bonkers singing contest and the irony we’re all now surrounded by masked people when we step outside.
But ITV bosses didn’t go for the idea.
The mask king said: “I suggested a PPE character for the second show and got a firm no.”
During the first lockdown last March, he used the company’s 3D printer to make face shields for NHS workers and, when the workshops reopened to make costumes for series two of the hit programme, it was the first post-lockdown work some of the team had.
Mr Simpson said the Masked Singer job is a “crazy, special” brief.
The costumes take 47 people about 5,000 hours to create, including sculptors, seamstresses and metal workers.
He said: “The combination of costume, song and the backing dancers – you get to create a visual cacophony of insanity.”
He thinks many of the famous performers relish the disguise as they’re so used to being seen in a certain way.
He said: “Your relationship with the audience, which you’ve grown up over years, the songs you sing, the way you look, it’s all gone.
“Our perception of ourselves is denoted by how people receive us. With a mask, you alter that fundamentally.
“People you’re singing to or talking to see someone different. You only find yourself again by becoming the character that they perceive.
“When Sausage bounds on to The Masked Singer set, and the audience goes ‘Hey! Sausage!’, it tells Sausage how to behave.”
He added: “These aren’t young performers who find themselves in a spotlight.
“These are experienced professionals who are doing this because they’ve heard it’s a good show and it’s a giggle.
“It’s just colourful entertainment and we need a bit of that at the moment.
“This sort of work is reassuring, it shows entertainment can come back. I think that actually the creative industries will recover, but, by golly, it’s going to be a hard journey.
“But people have a fundamental need to be entertained, to be taken away from themselves.”
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