“All you can hear in that helmet is the sound of your appearance fee hitting your bank account”: Justin Hawkins on his Masked Singer appearance

Hawkins appeared on the show disguised as a chameleon in 2020.

Justin Hawkins

Justin Hawkins. Credit: Steve Jennings/Getty

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The Darkness‘s Justin Hawkins has lifted the lid on what it was like to appear on The Masked Singer. 

The singer appeared on the ITV singing competition in 2020, disguised as a chameleon, on which he performed Radiohead’s Creep and Portugal. The Man’s Feel It Still. Ironically, after his performance of the former, judge Davina McCall said, “This is good. Not a singer, but good.” He was the third contestant to be eliminated.

Now, Hawkins reflects on his time on the show in a new interview with Classic Rock, in which he also credits the show with helping to keep him going financially.

“All you can hear with that helmet on is the sound of your appearance fee hitting your bank account. That really was all I cared about,” he says.

Asked if he enjoyed the show, he adds: “It was alright. It’s difficult to sing in a papier-mache hat and it’s visually restrictive. You can only see out of a small aperture, a bit smaller than a letter box. It’s also discombobulating. The people that ran the thing were really nice to me, but it’s a lonely existence as you’re not allowed to talk to anyone or have any entourage with you in case you get recognised. Really, it was a handy injection of money when I seriously needed it.”

Hawkins has a busy few months with The Darkness coming up, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the group’s breakthrough debut album, Permission To Land. 

The band will be touring the UK and Europe later this year in celebration of the anniversary, for which they will be playing the album in full. In addition, they will also be the subject of a feature-length documentary, which will be screened in cinemas for one night only on 9th November before being released on Blu-Ray and digital download the following month.

The new documentary, featuring unseen archive footage and interviews filmed over six years, follows the band as they try to resurrect their career and get back to the fame they had attained in the early 2000s, having split up in 2006 and reformed in 2011.


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