TV & Movies

Masked Singer Mo Gilligan’s life from soap star ‘girlfriend’ to job before fame

Mo Gilligan is the latest addition to The Masked Singer 's judging panel, bringing a welcome dose of comedy to the zany ITV guessing show.

Joining judges Jonathan Ross, Rita Ora and Davina McCall in the hot seat, the 32-year-old has replaced Ken Jeong on the panel.

The London comic has been a sure-fire hit with viewers since the show's launch on Boxing Day, bringing the laughs with his commentary and guesswork as each celebrity is unmasked.

While Mo has become a household name as a comedian, he prefers to keep his private life out of the spotlight.

Daily Star has done a little digging – below is everything you need to know about the Masked Singer star, from his relationship status to his glittering career highlights.

Childhood

Growing up in South London, Mo's full name is Mosiah Gilligan, born to a Welsh mother and a dad from Brixton.

His mum and dad separated when Mo was five, but continued to raise him together while living in Camberwell.

Planting the comedy seed, Mo first began to experiment with cracking jokes when he attended a performing arts school.

However, it wasn't until his late 20s the Londoner truly skyrocketed to fame, becoming one of the biggest names in British comedy.

Retail job

In his 20s, Mo landed a job in the Covent Garden branch of Levi's, selling denim-wear as a sales assistant on the shop floor.

While working in retail, he started experimenting with uploading short comedy sketch videos online, sharing them via Instagram and Twitter.

Quickly, his videos became a hit, going viral and spreading across WhatsApp groups across the country.

Soon customers in Levi's were beginning to recognise Mo, wondering whether he was the same comic they'd seen in memes and sketches online.

Mo started touring the comedy circuit while continuing to work in retail, eventually becoming successful enough to quit his day job altogether.

Speaking to BBC in 2018, Mo admitted he still found it strange to go into a clothes shop, saying: "I liked the job, though.

"I wouldn't ever sit here and say I hated it, but I think the transition is really weird now, because when I go into these stores, I'm like, 'That guy was me this time last year', so to be in the position I'm in now always throws me a bit."

Superfan Drake

Though Mo's following started off small in the UK, his comedy sketches soon reached an international audience – catching the eye of one megastar in particular.

Canadian rapper Drake was left creased over Mo's "couple cans" video, which sees him pretend to be a geezer asking his girlfriend to fetch him some beers.

Referencing the clip back in August 2017, he shared a picture of himself and rapper GIGGS, along with the caption: "Enjoying this ‘Julie bring me a couple cans' weather today."

Inevitably, the shoutout helped to propel Mo even further on his path to superstardom.

Love life

Mo tends to keep hush about his relationships, preferring to enjoy his private life away from the prying eyes of his fans and the media.

However, during a 2018 interview with Evening Standard, the stand-up confirmed he was dating actress Sophie Wise.

Sophie is best known for her role on Hollyoaks, playing the troubled character of Carly Bradley, who appeared in the village under witness protection.

She launched her career in 2002, appearing in the film The Emperor's Club, which follows a group of students at a fictional boys' prep school.

However, it's not known whether Mo and Sophie are still dating.

TV fame

Aside from The Masked Singer, Mo has appeared on a number of major shows, splitting viewers' sides on the latest season of Celebrity Gogglebox with his pal Babatunde.

His big break came when he started hosting Channel 4's The Big Narstie Show back in 2018, alongside grime MC Big Narstie.

He later teamed up with Claudia Winkleman on The Big Fat Quiz of The Year, with the duo giving inventive answers to some of Jimmy Carr's timely quiz questions.

Premiering in 2019, his namesake series, The Late Show with Mo Gilligan, has been a major success, drawing in celebrity guests and soaring ratings.

Mo's telly acclaim has won him a number of award nominations, finding himself in the running for everything from TV Presenter of the Year at the National Television Awards to Best Newcomer and Best Breakthrough at the Royal Television Society.

No doubt, 2021 will be the year he wins big at the Brit TV award ceremonies.

The Masked Singer airs on Saturdays at 7pm on ITV.

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