Celebrity MasterChef hopefuls share their thoughts ahead of the final – from new friendships to running out of recipes


AFTER five long weeks of ­gruelling challenges, the remaining Celebrity MasterChef contestants are battling it out to be this year’s champion.

Because of a crunched-down telly schedule – due to the 2020 TV Baftas airing on Friday – viewers will watch the ­second semi-final and the final back to back tomorrow night.

In the showdown at 7.30pm on BBC1, the celebs are surprised by a special guest – a ­pioneer of the UK’s Italian dining scene, Aldo Zilli.

Their challenge is to recreate one of his favourite recipes in front of judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace.

Here are the thoughts of the final seven before they are whittled down to three, then one . . . 

THE show’s first blind contestant, TV personality Amar, 45, hopes his success on the series will inspire others to leave their comfort zone.

He said: “I’ve learnt no matter how terrifying something may seem at the beginning, if you are prepared to give it a go you can achieve anything.

“I rejected MasterChef twice and yet here I am, in the semi-finals.”

Amar, who had 95 per cent sight loss by his late teens due to incurable eye condition retin­itis pigmentosa, said the show even made him feel like he could see again.

He said his high point was serving up the meal they had cooked for 120 people: “For a second I thought I was fully sighted because the customers didn’t know that I was blind and I was faking it but it almost faked me into believing I was sighted again.”

LOOSE Women panellist Judi says she never wants to see a fish again after hating the “mundane” mass cooking challenge.

The comic, 40, said: “I never wanna have to prepare and cook so much fish.

“Filleting a piece of fish – it seems easy and light work but when you’re cooking for 100-plus, all kinds of things come up.”

The mum-of-two is keen to win to celebrate her British and Jamaican heritage.

She said: “I cook from my heart, it’s food I’ve grown up with.

“Especially for the older generation of West Indians, it’s keeping that tradition and show­ing that the young generation still appreciate our aunties and mums and dads who would make things that reminded them of Jamaica.”

OLYMPIC hockey hero Sam Quek wants to use the competition to beat fellow sports ace Sir Matthew Pinsent.

Sam, 31, who bagged a gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, said she would not have entered if she had not thought she could take home the trophy.

She revealed: “I want to win because you don’t enter not to win.

“It’s a competition – the whole purpose is to be the winner and I’m a competitive person.

“However, I would also see it as a success if I beat this one particular person, Sir Matthew Pinsent, because he’s got four Olympic gold medals and I’ve got one.

“So I can get one step ahead of him then I will be absolutely buzzing.”

BROADCASTER Riyadh said being set the task of cooking for previous contestants was “unbelievably unfair” because they were given so little time.

The YouTuber had to cook a two-course meal for John, Gregg and three former Celebrity MasterChef finalists – Angellica Bell, Les Dennis and Spencer Matthews.

He said: “The toughest challenge was where we cooked for previous contestants.

“It’s eight plates of food in 15 minutes. I’ll say it out loud now and with every fibre of my being – it’s unbelievably unfair to get someone to make that amount of food in such little time.”

The Radio 1 DJ says he now wants to triumph as he never wins anything.

He added: “I’m always the bridesmaid, never the bride.

“I always come quite close to winning something but fall at the last hurdle so to have that trophy here in my house would be the most amazing feeling.”

OLYMPIC legend Sir Matthew struck up an unlikely friendship on the show with Towie star Pete Wicks, Benidorm actress Crissy Rock and Riyadh.

The rower, 49, who won four gold medals at consecutive Games, said their closeness frustrated the judges because they felt the contestants should be more competitive.

Matthew said: “I particularly enjoyed the quartet that we had going in the end.

“We are all still on WhatsApp together.

“John and Gregg got a bit fed up with us because we really didn’t want to compete against each other.

“They found that a bit odd and frustrating.”

WELSH TV presenter Gethin admitted he was “s***ing it” when he first appeared on the show, and was shaking so badly he could not even slice a potato.

The telly hunk, 42, even joked he was jealous of blind contestant Amar Latif as he did not have to see the show’s fearsome judges.

He revealed: “I started trying to chop some potatoes but my hands were shaking.

“I started laughing at how ridiculous it was that I was so nervous about cutting potatoes.

“It’s proper intimidation, isn’t it? I used to say to Amar I got really jealous of him because he didn’t get to experience the intimidation, ‘It’s all right for you, you’re oblivious to it’.”

ACTOR Phil says he does not care about winning the show, despite making it to the final seven.

The Londoner, 61, best known for his role in EastEnders, even said he has run out of ideas for things to cook.

He said: “The point is to be part of the whole show. I’m not as good a cook as some of them and it wasn’t about winning – it was about getting through the first round so everything after that was a bonus for me.

“I’m dreading getting into the final. I’ve run out of ideas.”

Phil said he spent the entire series trying to be loved by John and Gregg. He said: “It was very tough, very pushy. There were no pats on the back.”

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