Peter Crouch to replace Mo Gilligan on ‘family favourite’ Masked Dancer as ITV announces new series

Former football player Peter Crouch is set to replace comedian Mo Gilligan on ITV’s The Masked Dancer this autumn.

The Masked Dancer has been confirmed for a second season and while we don’t know the contestants hidden behind the costumes, the host and lineup of judges have been announced.

The ITV show will see the return of judges Jonathan Ross, Oti Mabuse and Davina McCall from the first season in 2021 as well as host Joel Dommett.

Audiences won’t be seeing Mo Gilligan as the comedian is unavailable due to work.

Taking his place will be ex-footballer Peter Crouch, who has a plethora of famous friends, which could give him an advantage when judging who the celebrities are behind the masks.

Peter Crouch is joining The Masked Dancer judging panel (Pic:Getty)
Peter Crouch joined Portsmouth for around £11m from Liverpool in 2008.

Known for fancy footwork himself, Peter told the Mirror how excited he was to take part in the upcoming season.

Peter said: “The show is a firm favourite in our household and when asked I jumped at the chance to take part.

“I am competitive and I’m currently scrolling through friends’ socials looking for those tell-tale dance moves.

Louis Smith is an Olympic gymnast who won a bronze medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and silver medals in the 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 Rio Olympics. He also won a gold medal in the 2015 European Artistic Gymnastics Championships on the Pommel Horse.

“Another plus is by being on the panel my social media, family and friends won’t be constantly speculating that I’m hiding behind one of the masks.”

Last year’s winner was Olympic gymnast Louis Smith, who was unmasked as ‘Carwash’. This year’s costumes include Prawn Cocktail, Candlestick and Cactus.

ITV announced the new season of The Masked Dancer as part of their upcoming autumn programme, but have not released a specific date as of yet.

Peter Crouch

Ex-football player, presenter

Pompey appearances: 87 (2001-2002 & 2008-2009) , Southampton appearances: 33 (2004-2005). Picture: Clive Rose/Getty Images

Peter James Crouch was born in Macclesfield and is a former English football player, who was a striker for teams such as Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa as well as having 42 caps for the national team.

Notably, Crouch holds the record for the most headed goals in Premier League history.

After retiring from football at age 38, Peter Crouch started to work closely with the BBC on presenting gigs and his own TV show Peter Crouch: Save our Summer. The ex-striker continued work by starting his own podcast named Peter Crouch Podcast.

  • Age: 41
  • Born: January 30, 1981 in Macclesfield, Cheshire, UK
  • Lives: In a £3 million home in Surrey
  • Partner: model Abbey Clancy, married from 2011
  • Children: Sophia Ruby, Liberty Rose, Johnny and Jack Crouch
  • Wealth: $35 million

Mo Gilligan is excited for Peter to take his place on the show where celebrities hide their faces and showcase their dancing skills.

He told the Mirror: “I’ve got the perfect sub to take my place. A legend on and off the pitch and one of the nicest guys in the industry, Crouchy knows a thing or two about fancy footwork, we’ve got this!”

Connections

Jermain Defoe

Former Pompey and Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe is set to begin his coaching career at Spurs. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA Wire

Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch formed a strong relationship when they first joined forces up front at Portsmouth in 2008, before following each other to Spurs the next summer.

The two strikers played for England as well, so when Crouch announced his retirement Defoe shared his fond memories of their pairing on Twitter.

He said: “Congratulations on your career. Have to say we were an amazing partnership. Enjoy your (sic) retirement my friend. #England #Spurs #Pompey”

Harry Redknapp

Peter Crouch is Pompey's most expensive signing.

Harry Redknapp and Peter Crouch have known each other for over two decades, with the footballer manager signing Crouch on three separate occasions over his career.

Harry was involved in a court case, which came to be known as the ‘Peter Crouch bonus case’, after a dispute following the striker being sold to Aston Villa from Portsmouth for £5.5 million.

More recently, Harry appeared on Peter Crouch’s podcast in 2020 to talk about their history and what was next for both men.

Chris Stark

Scott Mills (L) and Chris Stark will both be leaving BBC Radio 1 in August 2022.

Stark, mostly known from his co-hosting stints with Scott Mills on BBC Radio 1, joined Peter Crouch on his podcast in 2018.

The pair alongside Tom Fordyce have accumulated a whole host of awards for their podcast including the Spotlight Award, over five seasons.

Personal

Abbey Clancy

Abbey and Peter have enjoyed an 11-year marriage (Pic:Getty)

Abbey appeared on Britain’s Next Top Model in 2006 and met her future husband at a friend’s party the same year in her hometown Liverpool.

The pair were engaged by 2009 and married within another two years, before welcoming four children.

In a hilarious interview on Rochelle Humes‘ podcast in 2021, Peter joked about leaving Abbey after the model brought a labrador back home.

He said: “If you literally bring one more living thing into this house, I’m gonna leave…the thing is, she said ‘you’ll love him when we get him,’ but I don’t need to love another thing - there’s loads of love in this house.”

Lauren Pope

Lauren Pope was in a relationship with Peter Crouch before he met Abbey (Pic:Getty)

Years before Peter and Abbey met in Liverpool, the ex-footballer was in a relationship with page three girl Lauren Pope.

The glamour model is most known for her previous relationships with Prince Harry and footballer Shaun Wright Phillips.

She also appeared on ITVBe reality series The Only Way is Essex before leaving in 2019.