Chris Kamara revealed as first Masked Singer less than a year after speech disorder diagnosis

Watch Chris Kamara unmask himself on The Masked Singer / Credit: ITV1

Chris Kamara was unveiled as the first Masked Singer, less than a year after revealing he was suffering from a speech disorder.

The football pundit was the first character to be unmasked on the new series of ITV1's reality singing contest The Masked Singer.

Six masked celebrities - Knitting, Jellyfish, Otter, Ghost, Cat and Mouse, and Phoenix - featured in the new episode, but Kamara's Ghost was the first to be revealed.

Kamara has been receiving oxygen therapy. Credit: Twitter/Chris Kamara

The former player, who had spells at Leeds United, Sheffield United, and Bradford City, was diagnosed with speech apraxia earlier this year after television viewers noticed him slurring his words on air.

The 64-year-old later quit his job with Sky Sports, but has continued to work in television and radio.

He said he kept his role in the show a secret to surprise his family. He tweeted the moment his grandchildren found out he was one of the singers.

He said, "My grandkids love the characters and we love to play along. I can't say I'm particularly good with my guesses though."

Reflecting on his mask and character, he added, "I loved it. It was simple but that's what I really liked about it. It was hard to sing in though, I never realised how hard that would be. It's very claustrophobic."

He was made an MBE for services to football, as well as his anti-racism and charity work in this year's New Year's Honours list.

Kamara recently opened about his diagnosis in a documentary about his condition. He said he wanted his experience to be a warning to other people.

He said he had tried a number of treatments, including oxygen therapy, speech exercises and wears an electronic tag which sends currents through his body to try to stimulate his speech.