‘Masked Dancer is taking franchise too far after silly guesses and low ratings’

There was a terrible moment last week when “Bradley Walsh” started trending on Twitter.

Gulp. Please don’t say we’d lost Brad! Mercifully no.

The mere suspicion that the great man was jigging about dressed as a rubber chicken on The Masked Dancer had ­excited the birdbrains.

But what on earth made ITV think we’d want to endure strictly dumb dancing for 90 minutes every night?

At least with The Masked Singer you had half a chance of guessing the celebrity from their vocals. What chance is there with dance? You’ve only got their legs to go on. You might as well have Masked Ventriloquists.

Jonathan Ross plays along, making demented guesses: Prue Leith, Meghan Markle, Richard Branson… He knows it’s cobblers but clearly needs the cash. Well, his Gucci handbags don’t come cheap.

Even when losers are unmasked, most viewers were stumped. Beetroot was Dita Von Teese, the rubber chicken was Eddie Edwards. All the big names.

Viewing figures limboed under three million, suggesting the country is finally developing herd immunity.

ITV found a (baffling) winning formula with The Masked Singer and now they’re flogging it to death.

Will The Masked Comedian follow? It could work, with audiences judging stand-ups by their gags alone. The drips on The Last Leg would drop like flies.

Streaming service Netflix are reviving hit show Sexy Beasts (masked dating). Pretty much any successful TV ­format – home makeovers, cooking shows, gardening – could be rebooted with disguised ­contenders. And why not Budget broadcasts?

A few chancellors in my lifetime should have worn masks when they mugged us in broad daylight with eye-watering taxes. Denis Healey did, John McDonnell still might…

●Llama in his mask looked like Julian Clary, but what a shame Carwash wasn’t Sia… or Cousin Itt from the Addams Family.

●THE US Masked Singer had T-Pain, we had Sue Perkins – t’pain in t’arse.

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