Celebrity Masterchef, TV review: I haven't a clue who these celebrities are, but they're clueless in the kitchen

On Celebrity MasterChef, the only necessary qualification is absolutely no cooking skills and a willingness to expose your inadequacy in a series of daunting challenges

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The Independent Culture

We know who you are, the people at home know who you are; what we're about to find out is: can you cook or not?" That's how judge Greg Wallace welcomes the first round of contestants to the 10th series of Celebrity MasterChef, and it was a fair summary — except for the second part. This child of the Nineties could recognise former Blue Peter presenter Yvette Fielding and the "one and only" one-hit wonder Chesney Hawkes, but the rest of them were a struggle. Is that the tarty one off Emmerdale? Someone from Hollyoaks, maybe?

Never mind. On Celebrity MasterChef, the only necessary qualification is absolutely no cooking skills and a willingness to expose your inadequacy in a series of daunting challenges. First up was the invention test, which required them to create a dish from pork fillet, chicken wings, butternut squash, wild mushrooms, chilli, prunes and pears, but hopefully not all at once.

 

Unable to correctly identify the slab of pork in front of her, Yvette wisely opted to cook the chicken instead, with a sauce of her own invention, consisting of mustard, red wine, water and flour. Aussie judge John Torode raised an eyebrow at that: "It might be good for hanging up the wallpaper, but I don't know how good it will be for dipping chicken in." Against the odds Emmerdale's Sheree Murphy whipped up a dish with restaurant-worthy presentation, but that wasn't enough for Greg. "You're a mum, so you don't season," he said, a rather broad generalisation that is sure to inspire some angry typing over at Mumsnet.

On the evidence of this round, the contestants were hardly ready to withstand the heat in two top restaurant kitchens, but that's what MasterChef had them doing anyway. You felt for Holby City actress Patricia Potter the most. She had the nerve-racking job of handling the terrifically expensive, £200/kg Japanese wagyu beef at Novikov in London. At least she didn't have to look far for some emotional support. They may have only met for the first time five minutes earlier in the green room, but these guys were forever embracing each other like long-lost war buddies. Celebrities, eh?

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