Masked Singer judges’ scandals – throuple claim, rule break and £150k Ofcom fine

The Masked Singer UK is well into its fourth series and fans continue to guess which celebrities are hiding behind the elaborate disguises.

Since first hitting screens in 2020, Rita Ora, Jonathan Ross and Davina McCall have sat on the judging panel, while comedian Mo Gilligan joined the trio during the show's second series, replacing Hangover star Ken Jeong.

Jonathan first appeared on the scene in the late 80s before Davina soared to stardom when she began fronting Big Brother in 2000.

READ MORE: Davina McCall appears nude as she covers up with white sheet during candid chat

While Rita first hit the scene years later after starring alongside DJ Fresh in Hot Right Now.

The original trio have been in the limelight for decades and they have found themselves involved in their fair share of controversial moments over the years.

Rule break

Shortly after the restrictions were implemented due to the pandemic in 2020, Rita, 32, hit headlines after breaking the rules to host a 30th birthday bash.

The lavish party was thrown at Notting Hill’s Casa Cruz where the Poison songstress was joined by more than 30 people.

After being caught out, the singer was fined £10,000 by British police for the West London party and later issued an apology.

The statement said: "It was a spur of the moment decision made with the misguided view that we were coming out of lockdown and this would be OK… I’m deeply sorry for breaking the rules and in turn understand that this puts people at risk.

“This was a serious and inexcusable error of judgement. Given the restrictions, I realise how irresponsible these actions were and I take full responsibility.”

She went on: “I feel particularly embarrassed knowing first-hand how hard people have worked to combat this terrible illness and being fully aware of the sacrifices that people and businesses have made to help keep us all safe.

“Even though this won’t make it right, I want to sincerely apologise.”

Severe backlash

Davina, 55, found herself the subject of severe backlash after writing a controversial tweet following the murder of Sarah Everard in 2021.

Shortly after the 33-year-old was tragically killed, the former Big Brother host tweeted: "Female abduction/murder is extremely rare. Yes we should all be vigilant when out alone. But this level of fear-mongering isn’t healthy.

"And men’s mental health is an issue as well. Calling all men out as dangerous is bad for our sons, brothers, partners."

Her comments sparked outrage from enraged members of the public, some of whom even called for the star to be "murdered" for what she had written.

Davina addressed the controversy during an appearance on Steven Bartlett's Diary of a CEO podcast, telling the Dragon's Den star that “cancel culture” is what makes her most angry about society.

She explained being on the "receiving end" of cancel culture after what she tweeted and went on to clarify that her aim was to address “death from abduction”, and not the “other awful things" that happen women including domestic violence.

Prank calls row

Back in 2008, Jonathan Ross and Russel Brand found themselves in the midst of extreme controversy after prank calling acclaimed actor Andrew Sachs.

In an episode of The Russel Brand Show, the duo left offensive messages on the Faulty Tower star's answerphone after he was unable to join them on air for an interview.

The lewd messages including comments about the comedian's sexual relationship with Sachs' granddaughter – singer Georgina Baillie.

The actor lodged a complaint to the BBC while the broadcaster was hit with a whopping £150,000 fine from Ofcom.

Director-General of the BBC Mark Thompson announced both Russel and Jonathan were for three months pending the outcome of an investigation.

The BBC then issued an apology, claiming the calls were "grossly offensive" and a "serious breach of editorial standards".

As a result of the scandal, Friday Night with Jonathan Ross was temporarily pulled off air while the presenter also stepped down from hosting the 2008 British Comedy Awards.

In an article titled, Cruelty that will haunt me forever written for the Daily Mail in 2014, Sachs described the ordeal as "hugely distressing" and detailed the impact it had on his family.

“For all my family, the unpleasant incident that hit the headlines in October 2008 was hugely distressing,” he wrote.

The later star added: “Their lewd banter was deeply hurtful for me, my wife, our daughter and our granddaughter. It not only caused pain but huge stress to the family."

"Maybe it was fun for him, but it was excruciating for us," he recalled.

The German writer, who passed away in 2016 following a four-year battle with dementia, said he was always haunted by the highly-publicised prank call.

Bitter feud

Davina famously feuded with Brian Dowling following the release of a Big Brother highlights series titled, Big Brother: Best Shows Ever.

The show, released in 2020, didn't feature the former housemate and winner, despite him having presented several series of Big Brother after its move to Channel 5.

At the time, Davina responded to Brian's absence in the special by saying: "Just an FYI we did ask @Brianofficial to be part of the show. He was ultimate housemate!!!! it was a no brainer."

The comment didn't sit well with the Irish presenter who hit back with a lengthy statement accusing Davina of "fanning the flames".

He fumed: "'Why did you feel that it was appropriate to post that?

"Even if you were being asked then surely you would be well aware that it would make me look bad and incite bad comments about me, when you had no idea why I might have declined to take part?"

He added: "Did I turn you down personally? No. Did you or anyone else ask me why I might have turned it down? No."

The 44-year-old reignited their feud last year, claiming Davina was yet to apologise for what she said.

"I've not got an apology for stuff that was said," he told The Sun.

"I was uncomfortable with Davina's truth because they weren't Davina's truths to tell. They were my truths to tell, and how I felt regarding my firing from Channel 5."

He added: "Davina worked on a show on Channel 4. Davina and I had a good relationship up until the summer of last year, but things were said publicly that weren't true and weren't fair."

Throuple claims

Rita and her husband Taika Waititi were recently hit with rumours that they were in a three way relationship with actress Tessa Thompson.

The Hollywood couple, who were reportedly tied the knot last summer, were spotted getting cosy with Tessa, 39, during a heavy drinking session.

According to some eagle-eyed fans, the darting trio looked overly close which led to many making the assumption the A-List stars were in a “throuple”, similarly seen with boxer David Haye, Una Healy and Sian Osbourne.

The Black Widow singer has since vehemently denied the claims during an interview with GQ magazine.

"Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve had a lot of drinks, and everyone’s your best friend?," she told the publication. “And then the next day, you’re like, ‘I was talking to this person in the smoking area for four hours, and I’ve got no idea who they are?"

She added: “Literally – that [photo] was just a bunch of friends having a good time. They [Taika and Tessa] had a crazy schedule, and everyone was letting loose.”

When asked about the rumours, Thor director Taika told Sydney Morning Herald: “I think in the world of the internet, everything goes away pretty quick.

“And also, ‘is it that big a deal?’ No, not really. I was doing nothing wrong. It’s fine."

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