WINNER of The Masked Dancer Louis Smith has revealed how the coronavirus lockdown caused "everything to stop" in his work life.
The British artistic gymnast, who took home the trophy on Saturday night, recently bought a home for himself, girlfriend Charlie Bruce and baby daughter Marley.
As both Louis, 32, and Charlie, 31, are "in the entertainment world", he revealed the family struggled and "survived on savings" when the pandemic shut down their work lives.
Speaking exclusively to The Sun Online, the star explained: "We're both in the entertainment world, and it's a prime example of how anything can happen of stopping your work.
"Everything stopped, there was no help from the government, we were surviving on savings I had from the bank, so it wasn't sustainable."
Deciding to make a "sensible investment" to secure their future, Louis and Charlie bought a home to provide a "secure" environment for their baby.
"Especially now with having a baby in the world we wanted something that was more tangible that we can secure the future with," Louis said of the home.
"In ten years time [we hope to] have multiple properties and have our future invested that way."
Louis previously revealed how he had been secretly renovating his new home while starring on the ITV show.
The first-ever winner of The Masked Singer spin-off finally got the keys to the 1920s two-bedroom pad back in March after months of wrangling over paperwork.
He has already ripped out much of the bungalow's dated interior – and has tackled a lot of the DIY work himself in order to preserve his cash.
Louis set up an Instagram account to share his progress with fans, telling them: "A new year a new project, follow our progress in our first home renovation project have fun."
He's since shared a number of snaps showing off building works on the property as he knocked down dividing walls and removed grubby carpets.
Louis revealed back in 2018 that he would be retiring from gymnastics, and has kept things ticking over with various TV appearances.
As well as appearing on the 2012 series of Strictly Come Dancing, he also appeared on The Jump and lost out to Made in Chelsea's Spencer Matthews in the final, before joining Channel 4's Celebrity Hunted.
He also took part in a live dance show called Rip It Up starring McFly drummer Harry Judd and JLS' Aston Merrigold.
Today, Louis revealed how he went the extra mile to conceal his identity on The Masked Dancer, by stuffing a pillow down his top.
While the stars are kept separate in rehearsals, he was still worried he could be rumbled by one of the other celebrities during his rehearsal.
"It was just crazy, the logistics of having 12 celebrities on set and making sure we didn't bump into each other," he revealed of behind-the-scenes.
"We had these hoodies that said 'don't speak to me', which was for the crew and security not to talk to us, and these gloves that covered all our skin.
"We had these balaclavas and these Kylie Minogue visors on top of them. It was just such a slick operation."
At one point in the rehearsals, Louis said the celebrities were brought on stage to practice a group dance only in their protective gear.
Wanting to make sure he wasn't figured out without his costume on, the Olympic silver medallist went the extra mile with his disguise.
"One of the crew said this is the time when everyone tries to work out everyone else, so I was really nervous," he explained.
"I took a pillow and put it under my hoodie and made it out like I was a really fat man – I thought that was funny to throw everyone off."
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