MasterChef (British TV series)
MasterChef is a competitive cooking show produced by Endemol Shine Group in 60 countries around the world. In the UK, it is produced for the BBC. The show initially ran between 1990 and 2001 and was later revived in a different format known as MasterChef Goes Large from 2005 onwards. In 2008, the "Goes Large" part of the name was dropped, but the format remains identical. The revamped format was devised by Franc Roddam and John Silver with Karen Ross producing.
|Also known as||MasterChef Goes Large|
|Created by||Franc Roddam|
Loyd Grossman (Series 1–10)
Gary Rhodes (Series 11)
|Narrated by||India Fisher (2005–present)|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||MasterChef|
13 (aired to date)
|No. of episodes||MasterChef|
146 (original, inc. specials)
278 (revival, at the end of series 10)
211 (end of series 10)
|Executive producer(s)||Franc Roddam|
The Maidstone Studios
City University's Bastwick Street Halls of Residence (2005–2011)
Ram Brewery (2011–2014)
3 Mills Studios (2014–present)
|Running time||30–90 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Union Pictures (1990–2000)|
Union/West 175 (2001)
Shine TV (2005–present)
|Original network||BBC One (1990–2000, 2009–present and Celebrity MasterChef 2006–2011, 2013–present)|
BBC Two (2001, 2005–2008 and Celebrity MasterChef 2012)
|Picture format||4:3 (1990–2001)|
|Original release||Original series:|
2 July 1990 – 3 July 2001
21 February 2005 – present
|Related shows||Britain's Best Bakery|
The series now appears in four versions: the main MasterChef series, MasterChef: The Professionals for working chefs, Celebrity MasterChef and Junior MasterChef for 9-to-12-year-olds. The format has been reproduced around the world in various international versions.
In the original series, three amateur cooks took part in each episode, with nine heats leading up to three semifinals and a final, in which they competed for the title of MasterChef. Their task was to cook a gourmet three-course meal in under two hours. Contestants could cook whatever they liked, although there was a price limit on ingredients. "Everyday" ingredients and equipment were provided for them, in addition to which they could bring in up to five "specialist" ingredients or utensils.
The first incarnation of the series was presented by Loyd Grossman, who was joined each week by two guest judges, one a professional chef, the other a celebrity. Grossman and the guest judges discussed the menus, wandered around talking to the contestants and finally ate and judged the food. Originally, the judges' "cogitations" took place off-camera, though later on, edited highlights of the discussions were added between the tasting and the announcement of the winner.
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In 2001, the series underwent a makeover. It was moved from its traditional Sunday afternoon slot on BBC One to a new weeknight slot on BBC Two. The "celebrity" judge was dropped and chef Gary Rhodes took over as presenter. This new version of the series asked contestants to cook two courses in just 90 minutes. It lasted just one series and was much criticised – notably by former host Grossman.
In 2005, executive producers Franc Roddam and John Silver, along with series producer Karen Ross radically overhauled the format, and a new series was introduced, initially under the name MasterChef Goes Large. The name reverted to MasterChef in 2008.
In the new version, there are two permanent judges, John Torode and Gregg Wallace, though neither addresses the viewer directly; instead narrative information is conveyed in a voiceover by India Fisher.
In the new format, each series airs five nights a week for eight weeks, consisting of six weeks of heats and quarter-finals, with six contestants emerging to compete against one another over the final two weeks to select a winner.
In each of the first six weeks, there are four heats and a quarter-final. Six contestants enter each heat, with one quarter-finalist emerging from each of the four heats. These four quarter-finalists compete for a semi-final place, so that over the first six weeks, six semi-finalists emerge.
In 2010, the judges were given more flexibility, allowing them to advance more than one contestant to the quarter-finals, or, in one instance, none at all. Series 7 of MasterChef featured 'talent show-type' audition shows (similar to The X Factor) in which hopeful chefs cooked in front of the judges to secure a place in the competition. More than 20,000 people applied to audition for the series.
The heats follow a three-round format:
- The Market Test: the contestants has to invent a dish with the ingredients from the market, they have 15 minutes to select the food and 1 hour 10 minutes to cook the dish. 3 people leave the competition with the remaining going to the impression test from 2017
- The Calling Card: the contestants must invent a dish from scratch in 75 minutes (40 minutes up until 2009). The contestants can choose from any ingredients they like.
- The Invention Test: the contestants are given two boxes, one with sweet items, another with savoury. They must pick a box and make a dish out of the ingredients within 75 minutes.
- The Impression Test: the contestants must cook a two course meal in 75 minutes for past winners and finalists of MasterChef. 1 hour to serve the main course, and a further fifteen minutes after that to serve dessert.
The quarter-finals follow a different structure with different challenges. Up until 2010, the format was:
- The Ingredients Test: where the contestants are asked to identify a selection of ingredients or produce.
- The Passion Test: in which each contestant has one minute to convince the judges of their overwhelming passion for food. Following these two rounds, one contestant is knocked out without having cooked that day.
- Finally, the remaining three quarter-finalists each produce a three course meal in one hour and twenty minutes.
In 2010, the quarter-final format was changed to:
- The Choice Test: where the contestants are given 15 minutes to cook their choice of either a pre-selected fish recipe or a meat recipe with the judges looking on. At least one contestant is eliminated after this test.
- This is followed by the remaining quarter-finalists producing a two course meal in an hour.
Now, the quarter-final format is:
- The Palate Test: Torode cooks a dish for the contestants, and they must identify the ingredients and try to recreate the dish using the ingredients given.
- The Choice Test: the chefs have 80 minutes to create a showstopping dish for the judges and a special celebrity food critic
The sixth week was called "Comeback Week" and featured contestants from the previous series of MasterChef, who did not advance past the heats or quarter-finals. The format was different for this week:
- The Skill Test: where the contestants have 25 minutes to cook one of two pre-selected recipes. Some contestants may be eliminated after this test.
- The Palate Test: where Torode cooks a complex dish and asks the contestants one by one to eat the dish, listing as many ingredients in the dish as possible. Some contestants may be eliminated after this test.
- The Pressure Test: where the remaining contestants work a lunchtime shift at a busy restaurant under the supervision of a professional chef who comments on their performance.
- The remaining contestants then have 60 minutes to cook a two course meal. One contestant is selected to advance to a quarter-final.
- The comeback quarter-finalists then cook head-to-head in a larger version of the invention test, cooking one dish in an hour. One contestant is selected to advance to the semi-finals.
MasterChef Live is an extension of the television programme. The event runs annually in November and is held over three days since 2009; it is hosted at London Olympia, co-located with the annual Wine Show.
Highlights of the event include live cookery demonstrations in the Chefs’ Theatre, celebrity chefs, former contestants, critics, and MasterChef style cook-offs.
Celebrity MasterChef was devised as a celebrity version of MasterChef Goes Large. The show was screened on BBC One from 2006 to 2011; originally, a total of 24 celebrities took part in each series with three contestants per episode following the full MasterChef Goes Large test.
In 2011, the programme was moved to a daily daytime slot with 30 episodes screened over 6 weeks and featuring only 16 celebrities. Catch-up shows were also aired on Fridays at 20:30 (30 minutes) and on Saturdays at various times (60 minutes). In 2012, the show moved to BBC Two due to low ratings and returned to an evening 18:30 slot. In 2013, it moved back to BBC One primetime, airing at 20:00. Since 2014, the show has featured 20 celebrities competing for the title.
- In 2006, Matt Dawson beat Arabella Weir, Charlie Dimmock, David Grant, Fred MacAulay, Graeme Le Saux, Hardeep Singh Kohli, Helen Lederer, Ian McCaskill, Jilly Goolden, Kristian Digby, Lady Isabella Hervey, Linda Barker, Marie Helvin, Paul Young, Richard Arnold, Roger Black, Rowland Rivron, Sarah Cawood, Sheila Ferguson, Simon Grant, Sue Perkins, Tony Hadley and Toyah Willcox
- In 2007, Nadia Sawalha beat Midge Ure, Craig Revel Horwood, Jeremy Edwards, Chris Bisson, Martin Hancock, Sunetra Sarker, Gemma Atkinson, Sherrie Hewson, Pauline Quirke, Rani Price, Chris Hollins, Matthew Wright, Angela Rippon, Sue Cook, Lorne Spicer, Emma Forbes, Jeff Green, Darren Bennett, Sally Gunnell, Mark Foster, Matt James, Robbie Earle and Phil Tufnell.
- In 2008, Liz McClarnon beat Linda Robson, Louis Emerick, Debra Stephenson, Christopher Parker, Joe McGann, Steven Pinder, Mark Moraghan, Vicki Michelle, Sean Wilson, Clare Grogan, Hywel Simons, DJ Spoony, Claire Richards, Denise Lewis, Noel Whelan, Andi Peters, Andrew Castle, Michael Buerk, Kaye Adams, Julia Bradbury, Josie D'Arby and Ninia Benjamin.
- In 2009, Jayne Middlemiss beat Colin Murray, Wendi Peters, Simon Shepherd, Janet Ellis, Deena Payne, Iwan Thomas, Rav Wilding, Pete Waterman, Stephen K. Amos, Gemma Bissix, Shirley Robertson, Ian Bleasdale, Paul Martin, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Brian Moore, Saira Khan, Rosie Boycott, Michael Obiora, Joel Ross, Shobna Gulati, Dennis Taylor, Siân Lloyd, Jan Leeming and Joe Swift.
- There was also a week of Comeback contestants featuring Joe McGann, Marie Helvin, Linda Barker, Claire Richards, Rowland Rivron, Ninia Benjamin, Steven Pinder, Wendi Peters, Helen Lederer, Tony Hadley, Martin Hancock and Jeff Green.
- In 2010, Lisa Faulkner beat Neil Stuke, Richard Farleigh, Nihal Arthanayake, Alex Fletcher, Tessa Sanderson, Jenny Powell, Colin Jackson, Tricia Penrose, Martin Roberts, Christine Hamilton, Chris Walker, Dick Strawbridge, Danielle Lloyd, Marcus Patric, Dean Macey, Mark Chapman, Jennie Bond, Mark Little and Kym Mazelle.
- In 2011, Phil Vickery beat Kirsty Wark, Nick Pickard, Darren Campbell, Linda Lusardi, Michelle Mone, Ruth Goodman, Aggie MacKenzie, Ricky Groves, Margi Clarke, Colin McAllister, Justin Ryan, Shobu Kapoor, Sharon Maughan, Tim Lovejoy and Danny Goffey.
- In 2012, Emma Kennedy beat Danny Mills, Michael Underwood, Zöe Salmon, Gareth Gates, Cheryl Baker, Laila Rouass, George Layton, Diarmuid Gavin, Richard McCourt, Rebecca Romero, Jamie Theakston, Jenny Eclair, Javine Hylton, Steve Parry and Anne Charleston.
- In 2013, Ade Edmondson beat John Thomson, Heidi Range, Shane Lynch, Miranda Krestovnikoff, Denise Black, Phillips Idowu, Speech Debelle, Brian Capron, Les Dennis, Matthew Hoggard, Katy Brand, Shappi Khorsandi, Joe Calzaghe, Jo Wood and Janet Street-Porter.
- In 2014, Sophie Thompson beat Christopher Biggins, Todd Carty, Tina Hobley, Kiki Dee, JB Gill, Wayne Sleep, Alison Hammond, Tania Bryer, Amanda Burton, Jason Connery, Ken Morley, Millie Mackintosh, Emma Barton, Russell Grant, Alex Ferns, Leslie Ash, Jodie Kidd, Charley Boorman and Susannah Constantine.
- In 2015, Kimberly Wyatt beat Keith Chegwin, Sarah Harding, Yvette Fielding, Arlene Phillips, Samira Ahmed, Andy Akinwolere, Syd Little, Amanda Donohoe, Craig Gazey, Tom Parker, Patricia Potter, Chesney Hawkes, Danny Crates, Mica Paris, Sheree Murphy, Natalie Lowe, Scott Maslen, Rylan Clark and Sam Nixon.
- In 2016, Alexis Conran beat Donna Air, Neil Back, Amelle Berrabah, Marcus Butler, Tommy Cannon, Amy Childs, Richard Coles, David Harper, Audley Harrison, Cherry Healey, Liz Johnson, Tina Malone, Louise Minchin, Laila Morse, Jimmy Osmond, Sid Owen, Gleb Savchenko, Sinitta and Simon Webbe.
- In 2017, Angellica Bell beat Rebecca Adlington, Abdullah Afzal, Kate Bottley, Patti Boulaye, Brian Bovell, Tyger Drew-Honey, Lesley Garrett, Dev Griffin, Barney Harwood, Stephen Hendry, Jaymi Hensley, Ulrika Jonsson, Henri Leconte, Debbie McGee, Aasmah Mir, Jim Moir, Nick Moran, Julia Somerville and Rachel Stevens.
- In 2018, John Partridge beat Michelle Ackerley, Chizzy Akudolu, Keith Allen, Clara Amfo, Martin Bayfield, Jay Blades, Frankie Bridge, Gemma Collins, Josh Cuthbert, Carol Decker, Anita Harris, Jean Johansson, Zoe Lyons, Spencer Matthews, Lisa Maxwell, Monty Panesar, Stella Parton, AJ Pritchard and Stef Reid.
- In 2019, the celebrities taking part are Élizabeth Bourgine, Joey Essex, Alex George, Andy Grant, Rickie Haywood-Williams, Judge Jules, Josie Long, Oti Mabuse, Kellie Maloney, Dominic Parker, Vicky Pattison, Martha Reeves, Zandra Rhodes, Neil Ruddock, Greg Rutherford, Jenny Ryan, Tomasz Schafernaker, Mim Shaikh, Dillian Whyte and Adam Woodyatt.
MasterChef: The ProfessionalsEdit
MasterChef: The Professionals, a version for professional chefs, was introduced in 2008.
Junior MasterChef originally ran from 1994 to 1999 for under-16s. It was revived in 2010 with an age range of nine to twelve. A second series of the revived format ran in 2012, with a third following in 2014.
2018 Rendang controversyEdit
MasterChef was involved in a controversy (during Series 14, Episode 13) when Zaleha Kadir Olpin, a Malaysian-born contestant who cooked nasi lemak and rendang, native Southeast Asian dishes, was criticised by judges Gregg Wallace and John Torode because the skin of the chicken was not crispy. "I like the rendang flavour, there's a coconut sweetness. However, the chicken skin isn't crispy. It can't be eaten and all the sauce is on the skin so I can't eat it," Wallace said during his judging of her dish. Many commentators, particularly from Malaysia and Indonesia, pointed out that rendang is usually cooked as a stew and is not crispy. The judges failed to differentiate between "crispy" and "undercooked". Najib Razak, Former Malaysian Prime Minister, joined the conversation with a subtle tweet denouncing the judges' opinion. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed suggested the judges were confusing rendang with KFC.
MasterChef (original series)Edit
Note: The original MasterChef series did not air in 1998.
MasterChef Goes Large (revived series)Edit
The show's original name returned from series 4 in 2008.
|2008||Children in Need Junior MasterChef||Alexander (Billy) Wyatt|
|2010||Sport Relief does MasterChef||Alan Hansen|
|2011||Comic Relief does MasterChef||Miranda Hart|
|2013||Comic Relief does MasterChef||Jack Whitehall|
Other notable contestantsEdit
|Series||Start date||End date||Episodes||Hosts|
|1||2 July 1990||24 September 1990||13||Loyd Grossman|
|2||21 April 1991||14 July 1991|
|3||26 April 1992||19 July 1992|
|4||11 April 1993||4 July 1993|
|5||10 April 1994||3 July 1994|
|6||16 April 1995||9 July 1995|
|7||7 April 1996||30 June 1996|
|8||27 April 1997||3 August 1997|
|9||3 January 1999||28 March 1999|
|10||12 March 2000||4 June 2000|
|11||3 April 2001||3 July 2001||Gary Rhodes|
- Happy 10th Birthday MasterChef: TX 18 June 2000
- Tales from the MasterChef Kitchen: Series 1, 10 editions from 2 July 2000 – 3 September 2000
- Celebrity Special: TX 27 August 2000
MasterChef Goes LargeEdit
|Series||Start date||End date||Episodes|
|1||21 February 2005||1 April 2005||29|
|2||23 January 2006||17 March 2006||40|
|3||22 January 2007||15 March 2007|
The show's original name returned from series 4 in 2008.
|Series||Start date||End date||Episodes|
|4||7 January 2008||28 February 2008||32|
|5||5 January 2009||26 February 2009|
|6||18 February 2010||7 April 2010||23|
|7||16 February 2011||27 April 2011||15|
|8||17 January 2012||15 March 2012|
|9||12 March 2013||2 May 2013||23|
|10||26 March 2014||16 May 2014||24|
|11||10 March 2015||24 April 2015|
|12||23 March 2016||6 May 2016||25|
|13||29 March 2017||12 May 2017|
|14||26 February 2018||13 April 2018|
|15||11 February 2019||29 March 2019||24|
- What The Winners Did Next – Special on winners from Series 1 and 2 of MasterChef Goes Large; aired on 22 January 2007
|Series||Start date||End date||Episodes|
|1||11 September 2006||29 September 2006||15|
|2||28 May 2007||15 June 2007|
|3||2 July 2008||25 July 2008||12|
|4||10 June 2009||10 July 2009||15|
|5||21 July 2010||20 August 2010|
|6||12 September 2011||22 October 2011||30 (daily)|
|7||13 August 2012||21 September 2012||30|
|8||31 July 2013||6 September 2013||18|
|9||10 June 2014||18 July 2014|
|10||18 June 2015||24 July 2015||12|
|11||22 June 2016||29 July 2016|
|12||16 August 2017||22 September 2017|
|13||23 August 2018||28 September 2018|
|14||2 September 2019||TBA||18|
- Masterchef: 1990. London: Ebury Press. 13 December 1990. ISBN 978-0563361077.
- Masterchef: 1991. London: Ebury Press. 15 July 1991. ISBN 978-0091752156.
- Masterchef: 1992. London: Vermilion. 20 July 1992. ISBN 978-0091773762.
- Masterchef: 1993. London: Vermilion. 12 July 1993. ISBN 978-0091777654.
- The Best of Masterchef Since 1990. London: Ebury Press. 21 October 1993. ISBN 978-0091777838.
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- "Sound Stage & Self Contained Studio, Stage 15 - 3Mills Studios". 3Mills.
- Ellis, Walter (30 July 2000). "Has 'Masterchef' had its frites?". The Independent. London.
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- Horton, Helena (3 April 2018). "Malaysian Prime Minister criticises MasterChef judges in rendang row over 'iconic national dish'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
- "Maybe you're confusing rendang with KFC, Dr M tells 'MasterChef UK' judge". themalaymailonline.com. 3 April 2018. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
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