Reality TV

The Masked Singer’s Dave Hughes tells TV WEEK of the modern addiction he was determined to kick

'My wife was worried I was going down a bad path.'
Loading the player...

The Masked Singer judge Dave “Hughesy” Hughes is getting around Melbourne on an electric bike, having recently lost his drivers’ licence, while chatting to TV WEEK.

“I look like an Uber Eats delivery man,” Dave, 52, jokes. “I even got a helmet with a flashing light on it for Father’s Day, because my wife is trying to make sure no woman finds me attractive.”

Dave says he looks like an “Uber Eats delivery man.”

(Image: Supplied)

The funnyman’s wife, Holly, and their children – Rafferty, 14, Sadie, 12, and Tess, 10 – are (mostly) excited to be watching his return as a judge on the fifth season of The Masked Singer.

“My son couldn’t care less,” Dave reveals. “But because I watched the Taylor Swift documentary [2020’s Miss Americana] with my daughters, it’s only fair they watch The Masked Singer with me.”

A major difference between this season and the last, Dave says, is he won’t be “vaping on set”.

Dave, who has spoken openly about finding himself addicted to electronic cigarettes, or “vapes”, says a couple of low points motivated him to quit.

Dave’s children aren’t fazed that their dad is on TV.

(Image: Getty)

“I was hooked,” he admits. “I was smoking in the toilets at my son’s basketball game – it was ridiculous.”

Dave, who gave up drinking alcohol when he was 22, had previously had a “dangerous relationship” with drugs and booze.

“My wife was worried I was starting to go back down a path of bad habits [by vaping],” he reveals. “But no, it never made me think to pick up alcohol again – and I never will, even though I still dream of it after all these years.”

Loading the player...

Further welcome news this season is that despite reports of a tense relationship with fellow The Masked Singer judge Mel B, Dave declares they have a “s—load of fun together”.

Although the Spice Girl sometimes gives Dave a serve for guessing that dead people are under the masks, he says it’s purely because they have a “family like relationship”, where they’re comfortable sharing their “dissatisfaction with each other”.

“Actually, Mel and I get on really well,” he says. “We went to a Sydney Swans [AFL] game together and she was giving my 14-year-old and two of his mates life advice – that was pretty cool.”

“They’re all great.”

(Image: Supplied)

Mel’s advice was to follow their dreams no matter what they are, which for the boys is to one day become NBA [basketball] players.

“I laughed, because it’s just not realistic,” Dave recalls. “None of them are that tall, and Mel got angry that we were laughing, saying, ‘Stop – that’s their dream!'”

Dave reports that his relationships with fellow judges Abbie Chatfield and Chrissie Swan are just as upbeat.

“They’re all great,” Dave declares. “I’m forever asking about their love lives and giving them advice from my point of view as to whether they should stay with someone or break up. I’d like to think my contributions are valued.”

Related stories