“TAKE it off, take it off, take it off . . . ”
Usually when I am yelling these words during a family holiday it is because I am cajoling my three kids to get changed after finally crowbarring them out of the pool.
But on this Easter break at Butlin’s Bognor Regis, all five of us are hollering it gleefully in unison while waving giant foam fingers in the air like lunatics.
It’s all part of the fun of the resort’s new headline show, The Masked Singer Live.
This energetic stage spectacle is a live reimagining of the hit ITV1 show in which celebrities compete in a singing competition dressed in an eye-popping range of costumes which are as spectacular as they are surreal.
The telly version is a Saturday night staple in our house and this live version brings back some of its most memorable costumes — albeit without the famous alter-egos inside.
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But for many kids the characters have become stars in their own right and my three were delighted to see Dragon, Viking, Panda and (their favourite) Traffic Cone sing and dance on stage in front of them.
And to top it all off, there is still a chance for the audience to take part in the hugely enjoyable guessing game element, as the Butlin’s version features two mystery celebrities who perform as brand new characters.
It would be unfair to give the game away here, but it’s safe to say the eventual unmaskings — after the audience has chanted the show’s famous Take It Off! slogan, of course — will bring a big smile to your face.
Hosted in Bognor’s huge Studio 36 venue, the show feels like a real extravaganza and slickly brings to life the television experience right down to the crazily clad dancers and light-up tunnels from which the acts emerge.
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While the famous judging panel of Davina McCall, Rita Ora and Mo Gilligan don’t feature in the Butlin’s version, proceedings are effortlessly marshalled by presenter and X Factor runner-up Mark Rhodes, who makes it an interactive experience by weaving in and out of the audience collecting guesses.
The Masked Singer Live returns to Butlin’s in the summer holidays and if your kids are fans, it is worth booking just for the show alone.
But, there is so much else on offer.
Art deco styling
We've holidayed at Butlin’s several times, but always find something new to see and do.
And given my three children range in age from three to nine, the beauty of a Butlin’s break is there is plenty to keep them all amused.
The brilliant Splash complex is always a surefire hit, from the slides that look like brightly coloured sticks of rock and Seaside Garden Rapids to the extensive toddler area.
Elsewhere my eldest son Henry loved trying outdoor laser tag and five-year-old Nicholas joined him for archery, mini-golf and bowling.
We were even blessed with sunny weather on our break, but you never have to worry about rain as there is plenty on offer at the indoor pavilion such as soft play and arcades.
And my trio spent a happy hour at the pottery painting cafe during an afternoon shower.
Butlin’s has long moved away from its previous cheap-and-cheerful holiday camp image.
Yet it has cleverly given a nod to its past with quirky design features like the art deco styling of the swimming pool and charming magnetic pin the tail on the donkey feature on the wall of our apartment.
It still offers great value for families especially in the current economic climate, with so many activities and top-notch shows included in the price.
As well as The Masked Singer Live, we caught the unmissable Animal Guyz show, which features incredibly life-like puppetry.
Also new for 2023 was the fantastic Festivals Rock show.
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Available on all breaks, it features pyrotechnics and the kind of anthems you would expect from a hit festival-style gig by the likes of Lizzo, Harry Styles or Pink.
The Masked Singer might have been what brought us to Butlin’s this time, but there was no disguising all the other fun that was on offer when we got there.
STAYING THERE: A three-night Summer Holiday break featuring The Masked Singer Live costs from £136.75pp, based on a family of four sharing a two-bedroom room in Shoreline Hotel, Bognor Regis, on July 21.
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