Aston Merrygold wowed viewers of The Masked Singer UK when he stood up on the stage disguised as a Robin – and even made it all the way to the final. He was, however, unmasked during the last episode of series two back in February 2021, behind Ne-Yo, who appeared as Badger, and eventual winner Joss Stone, who fooled everyone as Sausage.
And after his own successful stint on the show, Aston has swapped roles and will be putting his guessing skills to the test as the bonkers ITV singing show hits the road for a string of tour dates across the country during the Easter holidays – including Manchester’s AO Sand on April 10.
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Like on the show, the JLS singer won’t be alone as he’ll be joined on the panel by a ctress, singer, and presenter Denise Van Outen and there will also be a special guest judge for each venue. In Manchester, Girls Aloud star Nicola Roberts will swap her bee costume after winning series one of The Masked Singer and in Liverpool, Coronation Street star Samia Longhchambon will join the two touring panelists.
Comedian and presenter Joel Dommett return as host for the 10 super-sized shows which begin on Saturday (April 2) in Liverpool before heading to London, Birmingham, Newcastle, and more.
Revealing what audiences can expect from the show, Aston told the Manchester Evening News: “If you’re used to the TV show, it’s not too far different from that but in terms of the show itself, we’re going to see five of our favorite characters from over the few series come back and sing songs we’ve remembered from over the past three series.”
While it won’t be celebrities in under five of the masks, Aston says: “The singers themselves will be absolutely phenomenal,” before adding: “But, for this tour, we actually have two brand new faces, two new characters that are going to have to celebrities hiding their voices – or should I say disguise their voices – as best they can so that when they are finally unmasked we don’t guess who they are.
“But that’s obviously my job, and Denise’s job… we’re going to have a guest judge as well at each venue and the live audience are going to get their say as Joel [Dommett] is hosting so he’ll be trying to get other people’s opinion as well. So it’s going to be a massive, fun, family night out for everybody.”
When asked about how it felt to be swapping the stage himself for the panel, the singer said: “It’s a big responsibility I feel. You have to have your wits about you in terms of having a bit of knowledge, in terms of your music knowledge and just know it can be any voice out there.
“You’ve got to broaden your thought horizons from singers to sports stars to actors – it could be anybody. We’ve got to get our thinking caps on and really work hard on working out who’s who.”
But he hasn’t been going too hard on the revision in preparation. “I’m just going to jump into it,” he said. “See what I hear, see what the clues are and just go into it. You can prepare but it’s a bit like, at the same time, it’s an entertainment show. We’re going to be fully entertained by some amazing talent so I ‘m probably going to be looking forward to that more so than the revision.”
And just like on TV, the show is shrouded in secrecy. “This show is such a secret,” Aston said. “There’s a lot of stuff being kept from us in terms of, we’re going to get there and be like, ‘Right…’
“The audience is basically going to be in the exact same boat as myself and Denise and our guest judge so it’s all up for grabs. We’re all working together to find out who’s under the masks of these two new characters.”
When probed on how much he does know, Aston replied: “We literally know the format of the show, this is where we’ve got to be, and the five reoccurring characters that we know and love from the series but apart from that, anything to do with the new characters is just as secret as it would be on the TV.”
But will he be getting back inside his Robin costume at any point? “I haven’t been asked for that yet so I dare say the Robin costume may stay back in storage,” Aston said. “But you never know what can happen. I’m going to say that now… it’s a live show and you never know. Things happen on tours. It’s a live show, anything can happen.”
As has been mentioned Aston made it all the way to the final of series two of The Masked Singer UK early last year and the boy band star, who shot to fame alongside Marvin Humes, JB Gill, and Oritse Williams after coming second on The X Factor in 2008, you have nothing but good things to say about his time on the show.
“I love it,” Aston said. “It was honestly one of the highlights for me personally in terms of my career, in terms of having the most amount of fun. I’ve said it a few times but the main reason I did the show was that I wanted, and I actually got the reaction I wanted, from my son.”
Following his reveal on the show Aston shared a video of Grayson, now four, discovering it was his dad hidden inside the bird costume. It showed the adorable moment the youngster turned round and said: “It’s you daddy, it’s you.”
“My main focus was that I really wanted to shock him,” the 33-year-old, who is also a father to younger son Macaulay, nearly two, with fiance Sarah Richards, said. Recalling the reaction, Aston said: “When it did actually happen it was a bit like, well, this is the icing on the cake. I just had the best time filming this, performing and now, I got to weird my son out a little bit and him look at me and be like, ‘you’re here, but that’s you on the telly…’ It was brilliant. So, so good.”
Aston revealed that when backstage on the TV show, you’re not allowed to talk to anyone except the one person assigned to you. “If anyone does knock on your door that you’re not sure of… they can’t just walk in, they have to knock. We have to mask back up put on our hoodies, balaclavas, visors, gloves… everything. You have to cover up,” he said.
“It’s all part of the game which is brilliant. It keeps it that extra bit special. Especially when it gets to the show because we’ve all needed something like this to hit the TV screens over the years because there aren’t that many inclusive, family shows that you can get involved with at home.”
The Masked Singer Live UK Tour is coming toManchester: AO Arena on April 10.For tickets please visit:TheMaskedSingerLiveUK.com