The Masked Dancer could fall victim to Strictly-style curse as stars train with sexy professionals

STARS competing in The Masked Dancer could fall victim to a Strictly-style curse — as they get up close and personal with sexy professionals.

The new ITV show, a spin-off of hit The Masked Singer, sees famous faces show off their moves while dressed as bizarre characters — including a frog — while judges try to guess who they are.

But many of those taking part in the show, which starts next week, deliver routines that see them getting very close with their pro. And they will stay in a Covid-safe bubble throughout the series.

It means there is a strong possibility of romance — just like when Seann Walsh was pictured kissing his then-married pro Katya Jones on Strictly in 2018.

An insider said: “As with Strictly, the stars will spend hours pressed against each other in hot, sweaty rehearsal studios.

“It’s  a scenario which has seen many of the Strictly contestants suffer the curse of splitting with their partners and starting flings with their dance partners.

“And there’s no reason to think that won’t be the case with The Masked Dancer too.

“Except with this show there will be even more mystery over the person they’re getting romantically involved with as we won’t know the identities of the professionals.”

Stars rumoured to be taking part include This Morning host Phillip Schofield, TV presenter Rylan Clark-Neal and musician Matt Willis.

The characters include Frog, Zip, Beagle, Llama, Flamingo and Viper. Mo Gilligan, Davina McCall, Jonathan Ross and Strictly’s Oti Mabuse make up the panel, with Joel Dommett presenting.

Meanwhile, Zoe Ball, 50, is leaving Strictly spin-off It Takes Two.

She has hosted the BBC Two show for a decade but said on social media that it was time for some new challenges.

Her co-star Ian Waite is also leaving to focus on his dance fitness brand.

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