If you had started to wonder when the next big cooking competition was going to hit our screens, then wonder no more. Celebrity MasterChef is back for its 16th series in 2021, so get ready to see some cooking calamities, stressed faces and maybe even the odd surprise from some household names. While it may be slightly lighter hearted than both regular MasterChef and MasterChef: The Professionals, the format of Celebrity MasterChef is largely similar and just as addictive. So in no time at all you’ll have your favourites who you’ll be cheering on from the sofa.
Spread over five weeks, the series will see 20 celebrity contestants take part in a variety of different challenges as they all vie for the prestigious Celebrity MasterChef crown. However, if past series of Celebrity MasterChef are anything to go by, there will be a mixture of different cooking abilities on show. This means that we can expect everything from the sublime to the ridiculous, particularly in the earlier stages of the series.
With past winners including Greg Rutherford, Kimberley Wyatt and Phil Vickery, this year’s celebrities will be desperate to add their own name to the list. Although you may think that the celebrities are just taking part for fun, Celebrity MasterChef has been the start of something bigger for a few past winners. Series five winner Lisa Faulkner has now written multiple cook books and has also gone on to host a variety of different cookery shows including one with her now-husband and MasterChef judge, John Torode. Now there’s a fairytale ending if ever we’ve heard one.
Below, we have rounded up all the information you need to know about Celebrity MasterChef 2021, including where and when you can watch it, who the contestants are, and what challenges they will be taking part in. We will be regularly updating this page so keep checking back for the latest information about the series.
Who won Celebrity MasterChef 2021?
After being whittled down from 20 contestants, only three celebrities - Megan McKenna, Kadeena Cox and Joe Swash - remained. After being tasked with presenting a near flawless three-course meal to judges John and Gregg, only one contestant could take this year’s Celebrity MasterChef crown and the prize went to paralympian Kadeena Cox, who impressed with her creative dishes.
What happened on Celebrity MasterChef last night?
As the popular series returned, a whole new host of famous faces took to the kitchen, including former Eastenders star Rita Simmons and reality television fixture Katie Price. Retired party animal Bez from Happy Mondays had the biggest laugh of the night, revealing he pronounces ‘anchovies’ as ‘handkerchiefs’. Meanwhile, Instagram comic Munya Chawawa was the first contestant to be sent home, after undercooking a lamb dish that judge John Torode likened to “sashimi”.
The second episode of the series saw the celebrity competitors have to recreate a dish from popular Indian restaurant Mowgli, as well as making a classic carbonara for the judges to critique. Former Eastenders actress Rita Simons, who played Roxy Mitchell, was the latest contestant to be eliminated. In her exit interview, Simons said she was “gutted” but also happy to have "great people".
The first quarter final of the series sees the celebrity contestants battle it out for the first two semi-final places. The three remaining celebrities - Duncan James, Bez and Su Pollard - were tasked with cooking a two-course meal for former Celebrity MasterChef champions: last year’s winner Riyadh Khalaf, 2015 champ Kimberly Wyatt and 2017 victor Angellica Bell. In the end, Bez and Su made it through to the semis, while former Blue singer Duncan was sent packing.
This beginning of this week’s heats saw five new celebrities step up to the plate: model and TV personality Penny Lancaster, singer and X-Factor winner Megan McKenna, broadcaster Melanie Sykes, fashion designer and Great British Sewing Bee judge Patrick Grant, and Britain’s Got Talent finalist and award-winning comedian Nabil Abdulrashid. The first challenge for the group was ‘Under The Cloche’, in which each celebrity must create a dish using a secret ingredient presented to them underneath a cloche. Next up, the Street Food Challenge saw the celebs having to recreate a Vietnamese dish after having tasted it, but without being given a recipe to do so. Finally, the contestants had to prepare their favourite Dinner Party Dish. The first to fall foul of the judges’ criticism was Patrick, who was sent home.
The celebrities first challenge in this episode is a Knowledge and Skills Test. The famous faces were asked to identify four types of flavourings before attempting to make calamari and tartare sauce in just 20 minutes. Next, the celebs were joined by Mitch Tonks, one of the UK’s top fish specialists, to cook one of his favourite seafood recipes. Finally, the group were tasked with creating a dish which is inspired by a holiday, with just one hour to make their vision a reality. It was the end of the road for comedian Nabil Abdulrashid, who failed to impress with his dish.
In the second quarter final of the series, the remaining three celebrities - Megan McKenna, Melanie Sykes and Penny Lancaster - must cook for three Celebrity MasterChef legends: 2011 champion Phil Vickery, 2008 finalist Andi Peters and 2009 Christmas champion Craig Revel-Horwood. In the end, it was Lancaster who failed to cut the mustard and was sent how, while McKenna and Sykes sailed through to the semis.
The third week of the heats sees a new batch of celebrities take on the culinary challenge. This time around, the line-up includes TV personality and author Katie Price, ex-England footballer and TV presenter Dion Dublin, actor and presenter Joe Swash, furniture restorer Will Kirk and actor Melissa Johns. The group’s first challenge is Under the Cloche, where they were tasked with making a dish using a secret ingredient presented to them. Next, the contestants had to recreate a famous Jamaican street food dish, escovitch fish with festival dumplings, without the help of a recipe. The final task saw the celebs being given one hour to create a dinner party dish of their choosing. The Repair Shop’s Will may be good at polishing furniture, but he was less skilled at perfecting plates, being the first of this week’s celebs to be given the boot.
The remaining four celebrities - Joe Swash, Katie Price, Dion Dublin and Melissa Johns - first challenge saw them being asked to identify four kinds of tropical fruit, before being asked to make a brunch dish of sweetcorn fritters, smashed avocado and a poached egg in just 20 minutes. Later, they were joined by chef Sabrina Gidda who challenged the contestants to cook one of her favourite recipes. Finally, the celebs had to take the knowledge Sabrina had taught them and use it to make a dish inspired by their favourite restaurant delivery. It was the end of the road for Coronation Street star Melissa, who was sent home by the judges.
The third quarter final saw the three remaining celebrities - Joe Swash, Katie Price and Dion Dublin - battle it out for a place in the semis. In order to secure their position, the famous faces were tasked with cooking a two-course meal that was judged by three Celebrity MasterChef favourites: actors Sophie Thompson (2014 champion) and John Partridge (2018 champion) and TV personality Vicky Pattison (2019 finalist). In the end, it was former glamour model Price who failed to impress with an undercooked dish of steak and chips, while Swash and Dublin secured their place in the semi-finals.
The final week of the heats saw a new batch of celebrities try their hand at professional cooking. The line-up of famous faces included former Love Island star Kem Cetinay, double gold-medal-winning Paralympian Kadeena Cox, journalist Gavin Esler, Strictly Come Dancing's Johannes Radebe and actor Michelle Collins. First up, the celebrities took on the Under the Cloche challenge, where they each had to showcase a different ingredient. Next up, the contestants had to try and recreate a popular street food dish from scratch, after having tasted it and attempting to identify the ingredients. Finally, the amateur cooks were tasked with creating a worthy dinner party dish. It was the end of the road for former Eastenders star Michelle, who failed to impress the judges.
The final week of heats continued as the four remaining celebrities - Kem Cetinay, Kadeena Cox, Gavin Esler and Johannes Radebe - were tasked with three more culinary challenges. The first challenge saw the famous faces undertake a Knowledge and Skills Test, where the celebs had to identify four different spices before being given just 20 minutes to make brandy snap biscuits filled with two different creams. Next, chef-patron of Vanderlyle restaurant in Cambridge (and 2010 MasterChef finalist) Alex Rushmer joined the kitchen to challenge the contestants to cook a recipe from his menu, which features no meat or fish and instead champions vegetables. Finally, the celebrities had to use their knowledge from Alex to create a dish that showcases vegetables - it seems Strictly Come Dancing star Johannes performs better on the dance floor than in the kitchen, with him ultimately being sent home from the competition.
In the last quarter final, the three remaining celebs - Kem Cetinay, Kadeena Cox and Gavin Esler - were tasked with cooking a two-course meal that would be judged by three former Celebrity MasterChef contestants: actor Lisa Faulkner (2010 champion), Olympic gold medallist Greg Rutherford (2019 champion) and TV presenter Rylan Clark-Neal (2015 finalist). Only two famous faces could ultimately make it through to the semis and it was Kadeena and Kem who took the top spots, leaving Gavin to hang up his apron and head home.
It’s the first round of semi-finals and time for the remaining celebrities to have their teamwork skills put to the test. Battling it out for a place in the final are Melanie Sykes, Joe Swash, Kadeena Cox, Megan McKenna, Kem Cetinay, Baz, Sue Pollard and Dion Dublin. First, the celebs were split into two teams and tasked with creating two dishes in a relay-style race. The main course featured a whole duck while the dessert had to include pears, with each team member given 20 minutes to make their contribution to the dishes.
Next up, the celebrities were joined by guest chef and sandwich king Max Halley, who challenged them to create their own dream sandwich. At the end of the competition, it was singer Sue Pollard who failed to impress the judges with her sandwich and was sent home.
As the semi-finals continue, the remaining seven celebrities continue their efforts to secure the MasterChef crown. Melanie Sykes, Joe Swash, Kadeena Cox, Megan McKenna, Kem Cetinay, Bez and Dion Dublin were joined by Spanish chef and restaurateur Nieves Barragan of Michelin-starred Sabor. They were tasked with recreating one of her Spanish-inspired recipes, with the most successful cook going straight through to the next round - this time round it was Melanie Sykes who most impressed the judges.
The remaining six celebs had to take part in a cook-off to secure their places, with John and Gregg setting a challenge themed around the popular 1970s film Abigail’s Party. Each famous face had to create two different party bites and it was the end of the road for Bez, who failed to get into the party spirit.
In the last semi-final of the series, the six remaining celebrities - Melanie Sykes, Joe Swash, Kadeena Cox, Megan McKenna, Kem Cetinay and Dion Dublin - were tasked with creating one dish of their choice for a panel made up of the country’s most revered restaurant critics: William Sitwell (The Telegraph), Grace Dent (The Guardian) and Jimi Famurewa (Evening Standard). There were only five places in the final, which meant one celebrity had to go home - in the end, it was Melanie Sykes who got the chop.
Finals week is finally here, with the five remaining cooks being pushed to their limits in a battle to take the MasterChef crown. Left in the competition are Joe Swash, Kadeena Cox, Megan McKenna, Kem Cetinay and Dion Dublin.
The celebrity’s first challenge was their toughest yet - they were met by Holborn Dining Rooms chef Calum Franklin, who is well known for high-end takes on the humble British pie. The famous faces were tasked with reproducing one of Franklin’s creations for a room of pie experts. After that, they headed back to the MasterChef kitchen, where the final five were asked to create a dish inspired by the flavours of a sweet shop. In the end, it was Love Island star turned restaurateur Kem Centinay who failed to impress the judges and was eliminated from the competition.
As finals week continued, the four remaining cooks - Joe Swash, Kadeena Cox, Megan McKenna and Dion Dublin - faced their toughest challenge yet. They were tasked with cooking for this year’s fearsome chef’s table, led by chef Tom Kerridge (whose recipes they have to recreate) and featuring Michel Roux Jr, Lisa Goodwin-Allen, Paul Ainsworth and Aktar Islam. The second half of the programme saw the famous faces asked to create a dish inspired by someone they love or admire. It seems there wasn’t enough love on Dion Dublin’s plate, as the former footballer fell at the final hurdle and was sent home.
Twenty celebrities began the battle to become MasterChef Champion 2021, but in tonight’s final, just three remained: Megan McKenna, Kadeena Cox and Joe Swash. For the grand finale, the three famous faces were tasked with cooking and presenting a faultless three-course meal to judges John and Gregg. It was their last chance to prove that they had what it takes to be crowned champion and in the end, it was paralympian Kadeena who took the crown.
When is Celebrity Masterchef 2021 on?
The official start date for Series 16 of Celebrity Masterchef 2021 is yet to be announced. Last year the show started on 1 July, but we suspect there have been some delays to filming this year's competition due to covid. It typically lasts around five weeks and kicks off in high-summer, so we're expecting a start date in the very near future. Usually the programme airs on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at either 8 or 9pm (it sometimes changes every week, just to keep us on our toes).
What Channel is Celebrity Masterchef on?
Celebrity Masterchef airs on BBC One and each episode is then usually available to stream on BBC iPlayer for 30 days afterwards.
What happens on the Celebrity MasterChef final?
After four intense weeks of heats, the next stage of the competition is the semi-final, where contestants battle it out for a place in the final and the chance to take the Celebrity MasterChef crown. The final week of the competition will see the remaining celebrities have to impress well-known celebrity chefs with their cooking. They will also undergo a takeaway themed Invention Test and attempt to cook a special anniversary lunch for 100 guests.
When will the Celebrity MasterChef final air?
The Celebrity MasterChef final will air on BBC1 on Friday 17 September 2021 at 9pm.
Who are the 2021 Celebrity MasterChef contestants?
The line-up for the 2021 edition of Celebrity MasterChef has been unveiled. Celebrities taking part include a former Rod Stewart's wife, glamour model Katie Price and a few old favourites from Eastenders.
Check out all of the contestants that will be appearing on Celebrity MasterChef 2021 below:
- Melanie Sykes - Popular TV presenter and co-host of Today
- Duncan James - Former member of the boyband Blue
- Su Pollard - Quirky actress, singer and author, most famous for her role in BAFTA-winning sitcom Hi-de-Hi!
- Penny Lancaster - Model, TV personality, Loose Women panelist and none other than Rod Stewart's wife
- Patrick Grant - Scottish fashion designer who runs high-end tailors Norton & Sons of Savile Row
- Munya Chawawa - British-Zimbabwean comedian singer with pretty famous eyebrows
- Bez - Former dancer and percussionist for rock bands Happy Mondays and Black Grape, Bez is now famous for his role on Gogglebox
- Rita Simons - Singer, model and actress, you might recognise Rita as Roxy Mitchell from Eastenders
- Megan McKenna - Reality TV personality Megan shott o fame after stints on Ex on the Beach, Celebrity Big Brother and The Only Way is Essex
- Dion Dublin - Former professional footballer, Dion is now a presenter and football director
- Johannes Radebe - South African dancer and choreographer famous for being one of Strictly Come Dancing's professionals
- Nabil Abdulrashid - British comedian who at 25 became the youngest black comedian to have ever performed stand-up at the Hammersmith Apollo
- Will Kirk - If you're a fan of antique programmes, you might have seen Will on The Repair Shop a show where he restores antiques for people
- Katie Price - Glamour model, mum and businesswoman who probably needs no introduction
- Kem Cetinay - Love Island sweetheart Kem appeared on the show in 2017 when he won the series with Amber Davies
- Joe Swash - Another Eastenders star, Joe also does television presenting and won I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! in 2008. He's married to popstar Stacey Solomon
- Gavin Esler - Scottish journalist and former-presenter of Newsnight, Gavin is also the Chancellor of the University of Kent
- Kadeena Cox - Kadeena Cox, MBE is a parasport athlete who became the first British paralympian to win gold medals in multiple sports since 1984.
- Melissa Johns - Actress from Life and Imogen Pascoe and Coronation Street, Melissa is a disability activist passionate about better representation on the tellie on on stage
- Michelle Collins - Michelle played Cindy Beale in Eastenders for ten years, and also has had a role on Corrie
Who are the judges on Celebrity MasterChef 2021?
Presenters and judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace will return once again to dish out their critiques for Celebrity MasterChef 2021. The pair will also be joined ocassionally by guest judges, the names of whom will be revealed as the programme airs.
What are the Celebrity MasterChef 2021 challenges?
While the challenges change a bit every series of Celebrity MasterChef, you can expect favourites such as the MasterChef Market Challenge where contestants have to devise a dish on the spot using only the provided produce, as well as the Pairs Challenge where contestants attempt to cook identical dishes with a wall in between them. As well as these, there will be mass-catering tasks, challenges involving cooking for fomer Celebrity MasterChef winners, and the celebrities will even have to try their hand at cooking in a professional kitchen.
Which restaurants are featured on Celebrity MasterChef 2021?
Every year the contestants have the opportunity to cook in a variety of professional kitchens in London and sometimes further afield. Last year these included Allegra in Stratford, Yeni in Soho, Cinnamon Kitchen in Battersea, Copper & Ink in Blackheath Village, Pomona's and Mortimer House Kitchen. Once we know which restaurants the 2021 celebrities are heading to we'll update you here.
Who won the last series of Celebrity MasterChef?
After five weeks of challenges, Iraqi-Irish activist, author and bradcaster Riyadh Khalaf took the title for Celebrity MasterChef winner 2020.
In 2019 Olympic gold medal-winning long jumper Greg Rutherford was declared the winner of Celebrity MasterChef, beating Neil Ruddock and Vicky Pattinson in the final. His winning menu in the final consisted of a scotch egg on a rosti nest, followed by crusted lamb cutlets with hassleback potatoes, and shortcrust biscuit topped with a dark chocolate cremeux for dessert.
Where is Celebrity MasterChef filmed?
Celebrity MasterChef has been filmed at 3 Mills Studios in East London since 2014. The film and television studio has also been used as a recording space for several other popular television programmes, such as Gordon Ramsay: Cookalong Live, Million Pound Drop Live and Stand Up To Cancer.
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