New recipe for next series of Masterchef

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The Independent Online

TV bosses have cooked up a plan to spice up a long-running cookery programme.

Amateur chefs will now be asked to pass an audition - judged by hosts John Torode and Gregg Wallace - to qualify for the new series of MasterChef.

The 20 best cooks will get to don the MasterChef apron and show off their skills in a new and bigger kitchen.

It means an end to the traditional format, which saw the cooks compete against each other in a series of heats to get to the next stage of the show.

Shine TV executive editor Karen Ross said: "Although we have always enjoyed the six weeks of heat shows to select the final eight semi-finalists, we are very excited to have the opportunity to start with a smaller group of cooks and follow them across the series.

"It will allow viewers to see more development of the contestants and enjoy an entire series of challenges that up until now have only been possible in the last two weeks of the semi-final and final rounds.

"The new massive kitchen will give us the space to do this and having the same competitors across the series will not only help them to become even stronger cooks, but it will also give our viewers a chance to engage with them even more."

This will be the seventh series of the hit BBC1 show and will feature 15 hour-long episodes.

Around 7.8 million viewers watched Lisa Faulkner win Celebrity MasterChef last week.