Irritated looks, incredulous pauses and smartphones drawn to photos: in the midst of the morning hustle and bustle of tourists and passers-by, a giant bird, around two meters high, surprisingly strolled past Cologne Cathedral on Monday. However, species researchers and animal shelters did not have to be informed – it was a small action by the ProSieben broadcaster. On the side of the mighty poultry: moderator Matthias Opdenhövel (52).

The background: ProSieben is currently preparing a new season of its highly rated music rate show “The Masked Singer”, which will be shown from April 1st (8:15 p.m.) – live from Cologne. In the show, celebrities slip into elaborate full-body costumes. One of them this year is the shoebill – a magnificent bird with an imposing beak.

Around two weeks before the start of the show, the already finished mask – which took around 950 hours of work – was sent on a short walk near the famous cathedral. The mighty structure fits very well with the alleged story behind the bird mask. “The shoebill usually lives a lonely life as a petrified gargoyle on a castle battlement,” claims ProSieben on the background story. One day, however, a celebrity “suddenly” struck him “like lightning” and “brought him to life”. So so.

In any case, the excursion did not go unnoticed at all. A school class from Münster – by chance at the cathedral – took extensive photos. A number of passers-by also stopped – and perhaps wondered a little bit whether it was Cologne Carnival again.

The masks of the new season Press page for “The Masked Singer” Mask “Der Schuhschnabel” Facts about the “Schuhschnabel” mask (as PDF)