As millions of television-watchers Dorset-wide indulge in the collective obsession which is dtc3's The Masked Minger, speculation is rife as to the identity of the various E- F- and G-listed celebrities hiding behind the absurd disguised singing personas.
So far the revelations have been less than startling as the first four contestants have turned out to be a lottery-winning housewife from Loders, a painter and decorator from Charleton Marshall, a former publican from Holnest and a market trader from Shipton Gorge recently released on probation after serving a short sentence for turkey smuggling in the pre-Christmas period. Tonight will see one of the four remaining contestants eliminated and speculation is rife as to which it will be. According to audience research panel CrapWatch, some viewers even want to know who the man, woman or other behind the mask actually is.
Much of the media and twitter-sphere excitement has surrounded one contestant in particular - Bee - whose performance of Marlene Dietrich's Falling In Love Again [delivered through at least two orifices] was described by many as "execrable". Speculative guesses as to Bee's identity so far include Brenda Oats, the late Mr Threadbone, Shelley-Lulette Sizemore, Irina Legova, the woman with the beehive hairdo on Wednesday's number 52 bus to Corfe Mullen and - bizarrely Professor Thrupiece. A spokesperson for Dorset Casino has revealed that the smart money is indeed on the Professor - the name Bee being, many feel, a subtle pointer to the initial of his first [and largely unused] name: Brian. "I once heard him referred to as Professor B", Ms Shelley-Lulette Sizemore, once reported, "though the person concerned was left in doubt as to the Professor's opinion of the appellation. Shall we say he wasn't best pleased? ".
So let us examine those clues in detail and see if they do indeed point to the well-known Culinary Bio-ethicist, author and horizontal jogger. We know that contestant Bee:
is either male or female
is either young or old
cannot sing [which does not rule out Professor Thrupiece nor anyone currently active in the pop industry]
cannot dance [ditto above]
has been the subject of a recently discovered life-drawing
has a strong connection with both Dorset and Switzerland
likes staying in hotels
is fascinated by small electrical appliances
has been the subject of an inquiry by both the RDC and l'Autoritées Suisse
was once involved in setting up a "honey-trap" [see what we did there? bee... honey...?]
is regarded by some as a has been [get it?]
is looking for a comeback
can play the boujeejaphone [should that bee the beejeejaphone [Sub Ed?]] [Idiot! [Ed]]
So, could the mystery personality indeed bee [really? Ed] Professor Thrupiece? If the calibre of contestants so far revealed is anything to go by the answer must most assuredly be no. Everyone has heard of Professor Thrupiece, no one has heard of any of the other contestants revealed thus far. In any event, why would a man who has been absent presumed missing for nearly fifteen years choose to make his comeback via such a dubious - not to say - career- and reputation-damaging vehicle? Psychiatrist - Hippe Gnosis - believes this may be a way in which the Professor can once again face the public whilst remaining essentially anonymous. "He has been out of the public eye for so long he may be fearful of the reaction his reappearance will invoke", she says. "Then again, he may simply want to make a splash. What better way to tell all your friends, relatives and loved ones, who have been mourning your loss for more than fifteen years, than to bounce back with a song and a smile on public television and in such an undignified and public manner? It's certainly cruel and unusual, but as a psychiatrist, I wouldn't be remotely surprised. Of course, if it is him, after four weeks on the show, he'd definitely need counselling ... I mean he wouldn't be in his right mind would he?"
In a statement issued by the thrupieceorganisation from its Great Heaving Headquarters, this morning, Mrs Amanda J Threadbone has said: "The suggestion that Professor Thrupiece is the man behind the Bee persona in dtv3's Masked Singer is frankly absurd. To those who persist in perpetuating this degrading and unfounded rumour, I say, in the words of a former role-model of mine, "No, no, no".