Edinburgh TV presenter Nicky Campbell makes an emotional departure from ITV hit show The Masked Singer
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The Portobello-born star performed an emotional rendition of Moon River which had the studio audience swaying in unison as he delivered his poignant performance of the 1961 song, a ballad released the same year Campbell was born.
The ITV show sees celebrities dress up in costume, masking their identity, and perform songs in front of a panel of judges including Jonathan Ross, Rita Ora, Sir Lenny Henry and Davina McCall who then take turns to guess which celebrity is performing. Viewers at home then call in to vote on who they want to see go through to the next round. The latest episode saw the Dippy Egg character receive the fewest votes - and judges were shocked to learn the character's true identity.
Davina McCall, who co-presented Long Lost Family with Campbell, said: “This is the best surprise, better than any birthday.” Holding back tears she added: “I love this man. Nicky is a friend, we have been working together for 13 years and I cannot believe I did not recognise your voice - this is insane.”
Prior to the performance, Campbell gave the celebrity judging panel a series of clues through his opening monologue which made references to working on breakfast radio shows and interviewing the Prime Minister (Tony Blair at the time). But despite the clues, none of the judges were able to guess the identity of the Dippy Egg, with a range of diverse names being considered by the panel.
Davina McCall, who was visibly moved during moments of the performance, thought the masked singer was physicist Brian Cox and Rita Ora opted for former Big Breakfast presenter Johnny Vaughan. Sir Lenny Henry was also influenced by the ‘breakfast’ clue and thought the masked singer was TV presenter Chris Evan and Jonathan Ross suggested the Dippy Egg performer was Bobby Gillespie from Primal Scream.
Pop star Rita Ora was impressed when the Edinburgh-raised Campbell reached the high notes and after his performance said: “I did not expect that.” She went on to describe it as ‘the best vocal you have ever done'.
Jonathan Ross added: “I never thought I would be emotionally moved by a singing egg.” Sir Lenny Henry, who was also moved by the performance from the 61-year-old, said: “You just wouldn’t expect a guy dressed as an egg to sing like that.”
Singing Moon River for a final time before departing the show after four episodes, Campbell was momentarily choked up as he watched Davina McCall look on. The Edinburgh star said being on the show was ‘emotional at times’ and overall the experience was ‘amazing’.