Celebrity MasterChef returns to prime time BBC1 this summer with an all-star line-up from sport, music and show business.
Entertainer Les Dennis, actor and musician Ade Edmondson and writer and broadcaster Janet Street-Porter are just some of the 16 famous faces that must make it through the cooking contest’s six formidable challenges held over two days, to secure a place in the quarter finals
Other well-known names hoping to impress judges Gregg Wallace and John Torode will be actors John Thomson, Denise Black and Brian Capron, and comedians Katy Brand and Shappi Khorsandi.
They will be joined by TV presenter Miranda Krestovnikoff, triple jumper Phillips Idowu, cricketer Matthew Hoggard and boxer Joe Calzaghe, as well as organic entrepreneur Jo Wood, former wife of Rolling Stone guitarist Ronnie.
Others signed up from the world of music are singer Heidi Range and Mercury award-winning rapper Speech Debelle and Boyzone’s Shane Lynch.
Executive producer Carla-Maria Lawson said: “The return of Celebrity MasterChef to a BBC1 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.”
Eighteen programmes will run across six weeks, with the first four weeks concentrating on the heats. Four celebrities will compete each heat week, with the best making it through to each week’s Friday night quarter final.
The contestants will face a range of challenges 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 Rugby Union team Harlequins at Twickenham Stoop.
Day two sees the celebrities paired up to cook 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, the contestants are simply asked to prepare one dish of their own design in just one hour. At the end of day two, one celebrity must go home.
The battle for a 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 make their best two courses – not only for John and Gregg but also for 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..
Two celebrities from each week go through to the final two weeks and are whittled down after facing more challenges including cooking on location at Warwick Castle, facing professional restaurant critics, and the awe-inspiring Chef’s Table under the watchful eye of Professional MasterChef champion Steve Groves.
The final programme culminates, as always, with the cook-off. John and Gregg want to see the three finalists draw on all the skills they have learned during their MasterChef journey, and cook their best three-course meal.
The judges must then decide who is worthy of becoming Celebrity MasterChef 2013, following in the footsteps of previous winners including Emma Kennedy, Jayne Middlemiss, Liz McClarnon, Nadia Sawalha and Matt Dawson.