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Celebrity Masterchef

Celebrity MasterChef

Wed Jul 31, 8-9pm, BBC1

By Debra Waters
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Series eight, episode one
It’s back for an eighth series. Jo Wood, Katy Brand, Janet Street-Porter and Sugababe Heidi Range, the first of 16 familiar faces who'll meet with potential glory (or humiliation), find themselves tackling spider crabs, recreating noodle soup and cooking for the Cirque du Soleil cast at the Royal Albert Hall. Thankfully, they’re a likeable lot; otherwise it would be a fist-clenching hour to endure.

Let’s face it, this is a low-rent version compared to the brilliance of the other two ‘MasterChef’ series – you know, the ones where contestants prepare dishes you look upon in salivatory wonder rather jabbing a finger at the TV with a derisive: ‘I could do that.’

But that’s what makes this show so popular ­­– we relate to the hapless souls who appear because, famous or not, they’ve got the same rudimentary culinary skills as us. It’s good-humoured enough, though, with John Torode and Gregg Wallace finding qualities in even the shoddiest dishes.
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