THE Masked Singer’s John Thomson has revealed he used Countdown as a “subterfuge” for starring as Bush Baby on the ITV guessing game show.
The Manucunian comic, 51, who was unmasked as the furry character on Saturday night’s show, told his kids he was going to London to star on Countdown’s ‘Dictionary Corner’.
He said: “So my subterfuge for it, because it was already in the diary, was Countdown Dictionary Corner and I just said I was doing that, and my kids were asking, ‘Why you going away?’ and I said ‘I’m doing Countdown’.
“Well if they’d have done their research they would know that it's done at Media City up the road in Salford, so I made out that Countdown was down in London.”
But despite John going to great lengths to keep his involvement in the show a secret, his daughters, Olivia, 19, and 11-year-old Sophia, guessed their dad was Bush Baby from the first episode.
He said: “My kids absolutely knew it was me, 100% guessed it from the first episode. They knew it was me because they know my mannerisms.
“But I fobbed them off, I just said, you know, a lot of the signs tended to point towards Matt Lucas to my advantage. And that kind of worked.
“And I would have a secret look at all the other potential contenders inside the mask, and I would just read about that and then go, ‘Yeah, but look…’, and I would use other people's detective work as a subterfuge for it being me.”
The Cold Feet and Fast Lane star revealed that the best “subterfuge” was the fact people had previously guessed he was Jason Manford’s Hedgehog from the first series.
He added: “Everyone thought Hedgehog was me so I was getting a lot of texts the year before and I had absolutely no involvement in the show whatsoever. So that helped.
“Because that's one way I fobbed people off, I went ‘Oh, don't be silly. Everyone thought I was Hedgehog last year.’ So that was a good cover story.”
But it wasn’t just his children the TV star had to “fob off” – Bradley Walsh and Gaby Roslin were also keen to press him on Bush Baby’s performances.
He revealed: “Bradley Walsh went, ‘Come on Tomo, fess up!’ And I couldn't, you know! And Gaby Roslin, both of them went, ‘It’s you!’
“And then afterwards, Brian Conley spoke to me and said, ‘Well, everyone thinks it’s me!’”
Fans watching the show were quick to notice that John looked like he had lost weight.
The actor revealed his slimming secret is eating a “caveman diet” and “battling monsters” on Nintendo Switch game Ring Fit Adventure.
He said: “I was walking around the block, barely breaking a sweat. And I thought this isn't enough, this is during the first lockdown.
“And I am a very good citizen, I take my recycling very seriously. So I was approaching the blue bin, which is paper and card. And in the top, because it was full, was Ring Fit Adventure for the Nintendo Switch and I had a look at that, and I thought, oh right… well, you couldn't buy it for love nor money.
“So I paid a little bit over the odds and got a second hand one. So I got it. And that was it. And I've done it and I'm on World 22 now, which is the last world I think, it's called Finalia.
“What you have to do is battle monsters through Keep Fit, it's aerobic so it's arms, core, abs, legs, and yoga. The great thing about it is because you play in a game, you don't feel like you're exercising.
“But then I decided to do the Paleo diet before Christmas. Because it works. For those who don’t know it’s like a caveman diet – so if you can hunt it, kill it and pull it from a bush you can have it.
“I'm only half a stone overweight now. So I'm alright with that. That's negotiable. I can get it.”
While John is open to exploring music further off the back of his Masked Singer success, The Fast Show fans will be excited to hear that the cast are in talks to reunite for a potential spin-off show.
He revealed: “If everyone was up for it [doing The Fast Show], then yes.
“But I think they've got other things in mind using that cast. This is how it was left. So they use the core cast of the show, but in different guises for another project.
“That's what's being talked about.”
The Masked Singer will see the return of Viking, Dragon, Blob, Harlequin, Sausage, Robin and Badger when another mask will come off this week.
- The Masked Singer continues Saturday at 7pm on ITV.
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