‘The Masked Singer’s Hedgehog Reveals How Surviving Cancer Pushed Him To Do The Show

'The Masked Singer's Hedgehog spoke EXCLUSIVELY with HL about how surviving pancreatic cancer led him to sign on for season 8 and how he got permission from Paul McCartney for his song choice.

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The Masked Singer’s Hedgehog was revealed as Monty Python legend Eric Idle during the season 8 premiere. While his run on The Masked Singer didn’t last long, Eric isn’t lying low. Eric is a survivor of pancreatic cancer and using his voice to spread awareness and support. He revealed EXCLUSIVELY to HollywoodLife that the show was a “great experience” for him after his cancer battle.

Eric Idle
Eric Idle was revealed as Hedgehog on ‘The Masked Singer.’ (Birdie Thompson/SIPA/Shutterstock)

“I thought to myself, this would be a very good experience for me to see if I could still actually do this. Be silly and sing and dance because recently I have been very lucky. I survived pancreatic cancer, thanks to some brilliant doctors in LA who saved my life,” Eric said. “I wanted to see if I could actually still do it, so it was a great experience for me to go and do it. There was a live crowd and they were big bands. It was fun to play with. And so yes, I found that I actually could get through it, which was amazing.”

The 79-year-old also gave an update on his health. “I’m much better than recovering. I’ve lived 6 months at a time while they checked, but now I asked my doctor how long I’ve got. He saw me and I’ve got a decade, so I decided to use that for something good,” Eric continued. “Instead of trying to just blog something I’d written, I partnered with Stand Up To Cancer, and I’m going to raise money to spread the good news that somebody has survived this foul disease. We are learning. We’re getting there. And if they will help me raise money, we can make sure it goes to the right places to encourage research and early testing. It turns out that November’s Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. I’m very happy to be partnered with people doing something useful.”

The Spamalot writer admitted that performing in the Hedgehog costume was “absolutely probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever done because you’re hobbled slightly because they’ve got these huge feet. You can only move your knees. You’re hidden inside this huge, voluminous costume. It was very, very quite difficult, and you have to learn dance steps and see the band cues and join in. It was much harder than I thought. Therefore when things are difficult, it always feels better when you actually get through it.”


Eric performed The Beatles song “Love Me Do” in The Masked Singer season 8 premiere. He explained how Paul McCartney gave him his blessing to perform the song on the show.

Eric Idle
Eric Idle as the Hedgehog with Nick Cannon. (FOX)

“I was listening to some songs and playing my guitar. That’s what I do for fun, and I was listening to ‘Love Me Do,’ and I was like, what a beautiful song. I wonder if I could choose that,” Eric told HollywoodLife. “I know it’s very difficult to get permission from The Beatles to do anything, so I had a friend at Apple and he said, ‘Well, actually it isn’t The Beatles copyright. It’s actually Sir Paul’s copyright because he wrote it when he was 16 before The Beatles, so why don’t you ask him?’ So I wrote to him, and he very sweetly said, ‘Yes, absolutely. Please go ahead with my blessing. But I ask you only one thing, please let me know what time the show’s on.'”

We need ways to find pancreatic cancer early and ground-breaking treatments that will help make long-term survival possible. Stand Up To Cancer is transforming pancreatic cancer into a treatable disease. Give now to support Stand Up To Cancer’s research at StandUpToCancer.org/EricIdle.