Hollywood movies

Inside Masked Singer Studios – Jail, Hollywood Films at “Haunted” Dancing On Ice

Keeping the identities of The Masked Singer contestants a secret is a tricky business, especially since viewers have their eyes wide open for the slightest clue.

Shooting in a busy studio in central London could make things even trickier, as stars have to hide who they are when coming and going from rehearsals and fittings to ensure there are no leaks.

But show bosses had clearly thought of all that as the program is filmed in a studio at a former RAF airfield at Bovingdon in Hertfordshire.

And The Masked Singer certainly isn’t the first major production to grace the grassroots soundstages.

We take a look at what else happened inside the studio.

james bond

The Masked Singer is filmed at a former RAF airfield

The base, which was used during World War II and until the 1960s, has three runways.

So even though the flight ended in 1964, it’s the perfect location to shoot TV shows and movies with aerial scenes.

One of the most memorable segments filmed at the airfield was the flying car scene in the James Bond film The Man With The Golden Gun.

The 1974 film starred the late Roger Moore as the suave spy.

A thug

Plunge's Tim Simpson who designed the costumes for The Masked Singer
The studio has housed both TV shows and movies

Star Wars fans will be delighted to hear that Bovingdon was used in Rogue One.

The 2016 spin-off – which starred Felicity Jones and Diego Luna – was set shortly before the events of A New Hope in 1977 and followed rebels who aimed to steal some plans for the Death Star space station .

The film featured the tropical planet Scarif, which was actually created on the airfield.

The Radio Times quoted production designer Neil Lamont as saying: “We shipped 2000 tonnes of sand in around 200 truckloads and imported over 60 palm trees from Spain and various greens from the UK. We also needed to build a beach and the special effects team had the good idea to recycle the water from the Pinewood reservoir so that it is not wasted.”


Michael McIntyre hosts the popular quiz show
Michael McIntyre hosts the popular quiz show

Michael McIntyre’s game show The Wheel is also filmed in Bovingdon.

The base was probably a good choice for the comedian’s show, which needs a lot of space for its huge wheel.

It has proven to be an incredibly popular show since its launch, with the concept being bought into overseas territories.

The Funny Man will also host the US version when it launches.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Rami Malek won an Oscar for his role in Bohemian Rhapsody
Rami Malek won an Oscar for his role in Bohemian Rhapsody

The studio was also home to some of the most breathtaking scenes from Freddie Mercury’s 2018 film Bohemian Rhapsody.

Queen’s performance at the 1985 Live Aid was recreated for the film. So the scouts had to find a place close enough to London for practical reasons, but big enough that it could give the impression that it was the site of a huge concert.

Once Bovingdon was cast, they were able to recreate the scene in great detail.

CGI was used to make it look like thousands and thousands of fans were in attendance.

Part of the airfield was also used to build The Mount prison in the 1980s, which was located on the site of aircraft hangars and administrative blocks.

Dancing on the ice

Holly Willoughby
Dancing On Ice is also filmed in Bovingdon

Dancing On Ice was formerly at Elstree Studios, but moved to the 60-acre site in 2018.

Presenter Phillip Schofield once teased his co-host Holly Willoughby about their program’s new home, telling her it was haunted.

“I saved this moment to tell you that Bovingdon Aerodrome, where we are filming Dancing On Ice, is haunted,” he said on their This Morning daytime show.

“Did you know this place is haunted?

Holly looked stunned and asked if anyone had actually seen anything and Schofe claimed he was haunted by Airmen who had died there, claiming some of the DOI crew had seen ghosts.

Judge Ashley Banjo then said he spotted “some haze” as he walked around. Frightening!

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