Battling it out in the MasterChef kitchen will be:
- Actors Keith Allen, Chizzy Akudolu, Lisa Maxwell and John Partridge
- TV personality Spencer Matthews
- International award-winning artist and actress Stella Parton
- TV presenters Michelle Ackerley and Jean Johansson
- TV presenter and furniture restorer Jay Blades
- Comedian Zoe Lyons
- Former international rugby player and TV presenter Martin Bayfield
- World Champion, Paralympian and broadcaster Stef Reid
- Recording artist and model Josh Cuthbert
- DJ and broadcaster Clara Amfo
- Singer songwriter Carol Decker
- TV presenter and singer Frankie Bridge
- England cricketer Monty Panesar
- Actress and singer Anita Harris
- Professional dancer and TV personality AJ Pritchard
- TV star Gemma Collins
The show’s seasoned judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace will whittle down the 20 celebrity contestants over six weeks and 12 programmes.
BBC commissioning editor Carla-Maria Lawson said: “Celebrity MasterChef is a real treat in BBC One’s summer schedule. This series features a wonderfully diverse line-up of celebrities. Along the way, viewers can expect high drama served alongside some great food.”
The first 60-minute episode of each heat week sees five of the celebrities face the Mystery Box Challenge. They will then be thrown in at the deep end – heading to a professional restaurant kitchen to prepare dishes for paying customers. They will then head back to the MasterChef kitchen to prepare a two-course menu of their own design for John and Gregg – after which one contestant will be sent home.
The four remaining contenders return the following night for a 90-minute episode featuring three more culinary challenges. First is the new Pairs Challenge in which they will be split into two teams of two, with each team tasked with cooking the same dish – but with a catch. A wall separates each team member, through which each celebrity must clearly communicate instructions to ensure each dish is identical.
Next up, it’s the Mass Catering Challenge where the celebrities will cater for workers at a range of venues including Chessington World of Adventures, Tilbury Docks, the Royal Veterinary College and British Airways Global Learning Academy.
The battle for a place in the semi-final reaches its climax as the four return to MasterChef headquarters to cook a two-course meal for John, Gregg – and guest critics. These include past Celebrity MasterChef champions and finalists: 2016 winner Alexis Conran, 2015 winner Kimberly Wyatt, 2014 winner Sophie Thompson, 2012 winner Emma Kennedy, 2010 winner Lisa Faulkner; 2017 finalists Dev Griffin and Ulrika Jonsson, 2015 finalists Rylan Clark-Neal and Sam Nixon, as well as reigning champion Angellica Bell.
The successful contestants from the heats will then go through to semi-final week, where tasks include a fine dining challenge with chef Paul Askew at Hever Castle in Kent and preparing a feast for ‘The Antiques Roadshow’ experts as part of the series’ 100th birthday celebrations. The celebrities will then go back in time, cooking at the Black Country Living Museum.
The sixth and final week sees the remaining cooks draw on all the skills they have learned over the series by creating an afternoon tea overseen by guest chef Eric Lanlard.
After this, the three best celebrity cooks will face the Chef’s Table, presided over by top chef Bryn Williams. They will be cooking for some of the country’s most respected and revered chefs including Marcus Wareing.
Finally, they will return to MasterChef HQ for one last time and cook their best three-course meal for John and Gregg. It’s then up to the judges to decide which celebrity contestant deserves the Celebrity MasterChef 2018 trophy.
The victor will follow in the footsteps of previous winners Angellica Bell, Alexis Conran, Kimberly Wyatt, Sophie Thompson, Ade Edmondson, Emma Kennedy, Phil Vickery, Lisa Faulkner, Jayne Middlemiss, Liz McClarnon, Nadia Sawalha and Matt Dawson.