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Mo Gilligan ‘probably doing more’ for diversity with Masked Singer role

Mo Gilligan (Ian West/PA)
Mo Gilligan (Ian West/PA)

Mo Gilligan has said he is “probably doing more” for diversity by appearing as a panellist on The Masked Singer than by taking part in Black To Front day on Channel 4.

The broadcaster will air programmes fronted by black talent and featuring black contributors to champion those voices and stories on September 10.

The Bafta-winning comedian will host a one-off special version of The Big Breakfast alongside TV presenter AJ Odudu.

Asked if he thought Black To Front day was a good thing, Gilligan, 33, told Radio Times: “I think people are forgetting it’s a chance for new talent, especially behind the camera, to get an opportunity.

“Sir Trevor McDonald is part of it (hosting Countdown) – it’s a bit of joy, man, a bit of fun and entertainment.

“We do need representation, but I’m probably doing more appearing as a panellist on The Masked Singer.

“The Masked Singer has got kids and families watching, and kids get to see people who look like them, their dad, their uncle, on primetime Saturday night.

“I love it – when I was asked, I didn’t think about the politics.

“It’s a great show – it’s wacky, harmless and kids love it.”

The ITV singing competition sees celebrities battle against each other while dressed in elaborate costumes which conceal their identities.

Gilligan replaced American comedian and actor Ken Jeong on the show’s judging panel for its second series in 2020.

He also hosts The Lateish Show With Mo Gilligan on Channel 4, which won him the Bafta award for best entertainment performance last year.

During the Black To Front takeover day, veteran broadcaster Sir Trevor, 82, will present game show Countdown.

Some of Channel 4’s other biggest shows, including Celebrity Gogglebox and Channel 4 News, will also be fronted by black contributors.

Read the full interview in Radio Times, out now.

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