How are you feeling after the big reveal last night?
I’m feeling incredibly relieved that the secret is out. But watching the show back last night, I probably finished on set maybe two weeks ago so when Osher [Gunsberg] announced my name, I actually had to hold back the tears. I was like “Dear Lord, I’m invested more than I thought I was.” I was so sad to be out but obviously delighted for those who went forward.
How much pain were in under that costume because we saw you mention last night that you were wearing a back brace underneath?
I did my back in on day one, on the first day of trying on my costume. We had to go onstage for our first rehearsal and kind of move around in the costume. It was the first time we had it on our body so you’re trying to get an idea of what you can do and that’s what everybody wants you to do as well because the next time you’re out is the proper camera rehearsal and the next is the first show.
It’s your one and only opportunity to get a real idea of how it fits and try and make each other laugh. So I threw myself into it and literally that afternoon, I bent over getting some groceries and thought, “God, my back hurts”. I’d been training for months getting ready for it and I’d say by early evening I’ve gone off to the chemist that have all the special back braces. And by morning I was in physio and now I’m in physio every second day so I did a good job on myself! It wasn’t just half-a**ed. I managed to do so much damage that to keep that kitten moving, my back would seize up during performances.
How on earth did you keep the whole thing secret from Masked Singer judge Urzila Carlson, given you were regularly going for lockdown walks with her?
We were on lockdown stage four, so we were only able to be in a 5km radius. Luckily, it was within her 5km and we worked out where those two 5km intersected. Because she didn’t suspect I was on the show at that stage, we didn’t really talk much about the show. The one thing about the show of course, is that it’s incredibly secretive and also, she knew how bad my back was. That’s really what clenched it for her and that’s why she was absolutely convinced it wasn’t me. She said to me afterwards, “Yes, I could hear that it sounded like you but one of those characters definitely sounded like a few people.”
Something I had also been doing the whole way through the show was gaslighting the judges and Osher. I’d been sending messages back and forth with Urzila seconds before stepping on stage with a photo of [my husband] Dan and I at home that I had screenshot to make sure the date stamp was now. I’m properly ready for an affair now. If I know how to do that stuff, I’m ready to go wider! [laughs] Oh my God, as if I could be bothered to have an affair.
Speaking of how secret the show is, I’m sure you saw that your costume designer accidentally let slip Kitten’s identity before the big reveal. Did you have a few choice words with him after that?
He is one of the planet’s most glorious people. Unless you are literally watching the show each night… and he watches live. When you’re holding on to a secret and many secrets, you’re not sure which one’s been revealed. I didn’t even know who was out each week until I watched the show, I didn’t know who those people were.
I think, God love him, first of all it was a pretty tricky way to ask the question. You are dealing with a top-shelf, highly-trained journalist in Deb Knight, she’s amazing. And definitely if you listen to the way the question was worded, it sounded like it was not out of the question for Tim to think, “Oh, she must be out by now.” Because he would know I’m out, he just wouldn’t know which day that would air. So not in a million years could I be grumpy with him because he made me the most exquisite costume I think in the history of the competition globally. It was so cute!
Do you think someone like your I’m a Celeb co-host Dr Chris Brown would ever have a go at The Masked Singer?
Well, they haven’t done all the reveals yet. Who’s to say he’s not under one of those masks? My beloved doctor is pretty amazing on lots of levels. He and I have also sung a lot of promotion stuff for the jungle, we’ve sung together many times. Everytime I hear him, I’m surprised he’s got such a lovely voice. So never underestimate the doctor. He could really hold a tune! Who knows? He could even be the Bushranger. Would that not be an amazing turn of events? That would be some open-mouth television.
COVID-19 obviously changed the way The Masked Singer was filmed, but do you have any updates on what’s happening with I’m A Celeb? Is it still going ahead? Is there a new location in place?
We don’t know and that’s the God-honest truth. The thing is everybody all year has been waiting for the September announcements and that’s what I’ve been telling my family. They’re like, “Are you going yet? Are you returning to South Africa? What are you doing?”
And until we know whether we’re allowed to go wheels-up, the network and the production company have a number of places in play. So if it can’t be here, it will be there. If it can’t be there it will be there. All the planning would have done my hairy nut in but like everybody else, I’m waiting to see where we are headed to shoot 2021.
But we’re definitely shooting 2021. It’s just a matter of waiting and obviously we really want to return to our beloved South Africa but I would never turn my back on being much, much closer distance to my family.