Rita Ora’s Masked Singer replacement ‘revealed as Nineties icon’ in huge show shake-up

Rita Ora has reportedly been forced to pull out of some of the episodes of the upcoming series of The Masked Singer, but ITV bosses have signed up some big names to fill her shoes while she's away.

The singer, 33, is a judge on the hit ITV show alongside Davina McCall, Mo Gilligan and Jonathan Ross, but she will absent from a few of the new episodes due to her busy work schedule.

One famous face who is allegedly getting ready to temporarily join The Masked Singer judging panel is actress and comedian Jennifer Saunders, 65, who will no doubt bring some humour to the show.

A source The Sun: "Jennifer is only filling in for the one show but everyone involved is really excited about it. She's a national treasure and is bound to go down a treat with viewers. It's a real coup for the show."

OK! has contacted representatives for Jennifer Saunders. ITV refused to comment when approached by OK.

Fans of Rita need not panic about her absence however, as it is said to be only temporary. An insider said The Masked Singer is a "huge part" of the singer's life and she is only set to miss "a couple" of shows.

"The show is a huge part of Rita's life but her hectic schedule means she is going to miss a couple of shows in the upcoming series. The show's bosses are lining up some stellar celebrity guests to hold the fort while Rita is off and they can't wait to surprise fans with who they have booked," the source added.

According to The Sun, Rita confirmed her absence and said some "great guest panellists" are ready to fill in for her. She reportedly said: “I’m gutted to be missing some episodes on the new season but keeping my seat warm are some great guest panellists who I’m told are also super competitive and will keep the others on their toes, especially Jonathan! Bring it on.”

The Masked Singer will be returning to screens with a new series in early 2024, with a set of 12 celebrities ready to take to the stage. ITV are yet to confirm a start date for the fifth series, but the hit show usually airs on the first weekend of the year.

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