Davina McCall has said she was shocked by the calibre of celebrity taking part in the new ITV show The Masked Singer.

The competition will see mystery stars performing in masks and costumes, while panellists guess their identities.

McCall, who is on the panel alongside Jonathan Ross, Rita Ora and Ken Jeong, told the PA news agency: “I loved the reasons why the celebrities did it.

The Masked Singer Press Launch – London
McCall, centre right, with Jonathan Ross, left to right, the show’s Joel Dommett and Ken Jeong (Scott Garfitt/PA)

“I was really surprised at the calibre of celebrity that we had and I kept thinking ‘Why did they do it? They are huge!’

“And the reasons were really cute. I don’t want to say any reasons because it might give away some sort of clue as to who they are but they were really interesting and rather sweet, being able to be behind that mask and be somebody different.

“There are some big surprises, it will keep you guessing.”

The Masked Singer Press Launch – London
Jonathan Ross with The Hedgehog (Scott Garfitt/PA)

Jeong added: “I think that is what makes this show relatable, on paper you are like ‘Well why do people watch this, with celebrities in their masks singing?’ but they are people who either want to redefine their careers or for personal growth or there are other even deeper personal reasons why they want to do it, and that to me really is why I love the show.”

The Hangover star is already a panellist on the US version of the show, where it has been a phenomenon and contestants have included T-Pain, Donny Osmond, Gladys Knight, Rumer Willis and La Toya Jackson.

He said: “What is remarkable is how similar (the UK version) is, the dynamics, the fun, the energy.

The Masked Singer Press Launch – London
Ken Jeong with The Pharaoh (Scott Garfitt/PA)

“The UK is really where the panel was invented and so to be a part of this experience right now is very surreal.”

Osmond, who was masked as a peacock in the first series of the US version of the show, joins the programme as a guest panellist in the UK version and Ross said: “He took it, I will be honest with you, a little too seriously.

“He kept referring to himself as The Peacock, so for the people inside the suits, I think it’s a big thing for them as well.

“They are big stars, they will be talking about the roles they played for years.”

Discussing who was best at guessing the identities of the contestants, he said: “Rita was a good detective, and I think she had an advantage which is that because she is a professional singer she was listening to the singing in a slightly different way to the rest of us.

“Ken is a lovely man, he’s a great talent, there are so many great things I could say about Ken, but if you ask me about Ken getting the people right, I would have to say he wouldn’t be on it.”

The Masked Singer launches on ITV in 2020.