John Torode and Gregg Wallace once again put the celebrities’ palates to the test when they must make it through six formidable challenges over two days, to prove their culinary worth and secure a place in the Friday night quarter finals.
The following 16 celebrities will be concocting a wide-range of hopefully delicious but sometimes terrifying culinary creations: entertainer Les Dennis; actors John Thomson, Denise Black, Brian Capron and actor and musician Ade Edmondson; comedians Katy Brand and Shappi Khorsandi; TV presenter Miranda Krestovnikoff; from the world of sport, triple jumper Phillips Idowu, cricketer Matthew Hoggard and boxer Joe Calzaghe; organic entrepreneur Jo Wood; from the world of music, singer Heidi Range, Mercury award winning rapper Speech Debelle and Boyzone’s Shane Lynch; and writer and broadcaster, Janet Street-Porter.
Executive producer for the BBC, Carla-Maria Lawson, says: “The return of Celebrity MasterChef to this BBC One peak time slot sees thrills and spills and some extraordinary cooking from our line-up of well known faces. In this series, the contestants enthusiasm in their pursuit of the MasterChef trophy is palpable, often inspiring and sometimes very very funny.”
The 18 programmes will run across six weeks, with the first four weeks concentrating on the heats. Four celebrities will once again compete each heat week, with the best making it through to each week’s Friday night quarter final.
The celebrity contestants will face a range of challenges designed to assess if they can really cook or not, including, in day one, the infamous Mystery Box Test and the celebrated Palate Test. Then it’s on to the mass catering challenge with the celebs being let loose on hundreds of hungry customers at ambitious locations including the cast of Cirque De Soleil at The Royal Albert Hall and the internationally renowned Rugby Union team Harlequins at Twickenham Stoop.
Day two sees the celebrities put into pairs and firstly face cooking a busy lunch service in a professional restaurant kitchen. After just an hour of learning the ropes they are let loose to prepare dishes for paying customers, under the watchful eye of the restaurant’s Head Chef.
Next, teamwork is on the menu, when it’s back to MasterChef HQ for the day’s second challenge; in the same pairs the celebs must work as a team to create one main course and dessert in one hour and 10 minutes. They are given a range of mystery ingredients to choose from and have one chance to work together to deliver dishes that impress.
In the day’s final test of culinary creativity, the contestants are simply asked to prepare one dish of their own design in just one hour. Drawing inspiration from their own backgrounds and relationships with food, and cooking the food they love, the celebrities must work furiously in a last attempt to prove themselves to the judges. At the end of day two one celebrity must go home.
The battle for a coveted place in the final eight reaches its climax on day three when the remaining celebrities face their toughest critics yet in the quarter finals. They must their best two courses for not only John and Gregg, but also three guest judges who know exactly what they’re going through – past Celebrity MasterChef champions and finalists, including amongst others, 2010 champion Lisa Faulkner, and 2011 winner Phil Vickery and finalist Andi Peters. The celebrities must impress their culinary peers to earn a place in the next round, and be one step closer to being crowned Celebrity MasterChef Champion.
Two celebrities from each week go through to the final two weeks and are whittled down across the them after facing more nail-biting challenges including; cooking on location at Warwick castle, facing the notorious restaurant critics, and the awe-inspiring Chef’s Table under the watchful eye of Professional MasterChef champion Steve Groves – an experience to set the most hardened professional chefs quaking in their whites!