MasterChef (British TV series)
MasterChef is a competitive cooking show produced by Endemol Shine UK and Banijay and broadcast in 60 countries around the world. In the UK, it is produced by the BBC. The show initially ran from 1990 to 2001 and was revived in 2005 as MasterChef Goes Large. The revival featured a new format devised by Franc Roddam and John Silver, with Karen Ross producing. In 2008, the name was changed back to MasterChef but the format remained unchanged.
|Also known as||MasterChef Goes Large (2005–2007)|
|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|
15 (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||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 companies||Union Pictures(1990–2000)|
Union/West 175 (2001)
Shine TV and Ziji Productions (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||576i 4:3 (1990–1997)|
576i 16:9 (1999–2010)
1080i 16:9 (2011 onwards)
|Original release||Original series:|
2 July 1990 – 3 July 2001
21 February 2005 – present
The series currently appears in four versions: the main MasterChef series; Celebrity MasterChef; MasterChef: The Professionals, with working chefs; and Junior MasterChef, with children between the ages of nine and twelve. The format and style of the show have been reproduced around the world in various international versions.
In the original series, amateur cooks competed for the title of Master Chef. The show featured nine rounds leading up to three semifinals and a final. In each round, three contestants were tasked with preparing a gourmet three-course meal in under two hours. The contestants could choose the meal, although there was a price limit on ingredients. "Everyday" ingredients and equipment were provided, and contestants could also bring up to five "speciality" ingredients or utensils.
The first incarnation of the series was presented by Loyd Grossman, who was joined each week by a professional chef and a celebrity to act as judges. In each episode, Grossman and the guest judges discussed the menus, talked to the contestants, and finally ate and judged the food. The judges' "cogitations" originally took place off-camera, but later episodes included edited highlights of the discussions after the food had been tasted and before the winner was announced.
Grossman's departure and 2001 revampEdit
In 2001, the show underwent a makeover in response to declining ratings. It was moved from its traditional Sunday afternoon slot on BBC One to a Tuesday night slot on BBC Two and the format of the show was modified. The celebrity judge was no longer included and the contestants had to cook two courses in 90 minutes, which was extended to two-and-a-half hours for three courses in the final episode. As an additional requirement, each contestant had to use the same key ingredient in each course.
In October 2000, Grossman left in anger over the proposed changes and was replaced by chef Gary Rhodes, who had previously presented MasterChef USA. Rhodes' advice to contestants was more critical than Grossman's and the show was acclaimed for its more serious tone, which later inspired the MasterChef Goes Large format and other cooking competitions like Hell's Kitchen. However, the new version of the show did not revive ratings as hoped and was cancelled by the BBC after the first series.
In 2005, the executive producers Franc Roddam and John Silver, with the series producer Karen Ross, radically overhauled the show's format and introduced a new series. It was initially titled MasterChef Goes Large, but the name reverted to MasterChef in 2008. The new series is judged by John Torode and Gregg Wallace, with voice-over narration provided by India Fisher.
The show proved very popular and became one of BBC Two's more successful early evening programmes, leading to an announcement by the BBC in 2009 that it would be promoted to BBC One.
Each series is broadcast on five nights a week for eight weeks. During the first six weeks, the first four episodes of each week are heats and the fifth episode is a quarter-final. Six contestants enter each heat and the winner becomes a quarter-finalist. At the end of each week, the four quarter-finalists compete and a semi-finalist is chosen. After six weeks, the six semi-finalists compete in the final two weeks.
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 Master Chef had auditions with a format similar to The X Factor, in which hopeful chefs cooked in front of the judges to secure a spot 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 must invent a dish using ingredients from the show's market. They have 15 minutes to select ingredients and 1 hour and 10 minutes to cook the meal. Three contestants are eliminated from the competition and those remaining advance to the Impression Test.
- The Calling Card: the contestants must invent a dish from scratch in 75 minutes (originally 40 minutes until 2009). The contestants can choose any ingredients they like.
- The Invention Test: the contestants are given two boxes: one with sweet items and the other with savoury items. They must pick a box and make a dish using its 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. They are given one hour to serve the main course and 15 minutes afterwards to serve dessert. This segment was first featured in 2017.
The format of the quarter-finals has changed over the years. Before 2010, the format featured three rounds:
- The Ingredients Test: the contestants were asked to identify a selection of ingredients or produce.
- The Passion Test: the contestants each had one minute to convince the judges of their overwhelming passion for food.
- After eliminating one contestant, the remaining three quarter-finalists each produced a three-course meal in 1 hour and 20 minutes.
In 2010, the quarter-final format was cut to two rounds:
- The Choice Test: the contestants were given 15 minutes to cook their choice of either a pre-selected fish recipe or meat recipe with the judges supervising. At least one contestant was eliminated after this round.
- The remaining quarter-finalists each produced a two-course meal in one hour.
The current quarter-final format consists of two rounds:
- The Palate Test: Judge John Torode cooks a dish for the contestants, and they must identify the ingredients and try to recreate the dish using the ingredients available to them.
- The Choice Test: the contestants have 80 minutes to create a showstopping dish for the judges and a special celebrity food critic.
The sixth week is called "Comeback Week" and features contestants from previous series of MasterChef who did not advance past the heats or quarter-finals. The format changes for this special week. It includes:
- The Skill Test: the contestants have 25 minutes to cook one of two pre-selected recipes. Some contestants may be eliminated after this round.
- The Palate Test: Torode cooks a complex dish and asks the contestants one by one to taste the dish and identify its ingredients. Some contestants may be eliminated after this round.
- The Pressure Test: the contestants work a lunchtime shift at a busy restaurant under the supervision of a professional chef who comments on their performance.
- The remaining contestants have one hour to cook a two-course meal. One contestant is selected to advance to the 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. It has been held each November since 2009 and the event lasts three days. It is hosted at London Olympia and is co-located with the annual Wine Show. Highlights of the event include live cooking demonstrations in the Chefs' Theater, 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, 24 celebrities participated 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 six weeks and with only 16 celebrities. Catch-up shows were broadcast 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 prime time, shown at 20:00. Since 2014, the show has had 20 celebrities competing for the title.
The winner from each year is in bold text.
- 2006: Matt Dawson, 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.
- 2007: Nadia Sawalha, 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.
- 2008: Liz McClarnon, 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.
- 2009: Jayne Middlemiss, 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.
- 2010: Lisa Faulkner, 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.
- 2011: Phil Vickery, 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.
- 2012: Emma Kennedy, 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.
- 2013: Ade Edmondson, 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.
- 2014: Sophie Thompson, 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.
- 2015: Kimberly Wyatt, 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.
- 2016: Alexis Conran, 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.
- 2017: Angellica Bell, 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.
- 2018: John Partridge, 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.
- 2019: Greg Rutherford, 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, Jenny Ryan, Tomasz Schafernaker, Mim Shaikh, Dillian Whyte and Adam Woodyatt.
- 2020: Riyadh Khalaf, Shyko Amos, John Barnes, Jeff Brazier, Baga Chipz, Phil Daniels, Karen Gibson, Gethin Jones (withdrew due to illness), Amar Latif, Lady Leshurr, Dominic Littlewood, Judi Love, Felicity Montagu, Judy Murray, Matthew Pinsent, Sam Quek, Crissy Rock, Thomas Skinner, Myles Stephenson and Pete Wicks.
MasterChef: The ProfessionalsEdit
MasterChef: The Professionals, a version for professional chefs, was introduced in 2008.
Junior MasterChef originally ran from 1994 to 1999 for contestants under 16 years old. It was revived in 2010 with contestants between nine and twelve years old. A second series of the revived format ran in 2012 and a third series followed in 2014.
MasterChef was involved in a controversy during the 13th episode of its 14th series when Wallace and Torode criticised a rendang dish made by the Malaysian-born contestant Zaleha Kadir Olpin for its poor quality. Zaleha had been given a task to make a chicken dish in thirty minutes and chose to attempt rendang, which normally takes several hours to prepare. The judges deemed the dish inedible because the chicken skin was rubbery and undercooked and advised her that with a thirty minute task she should have made a crispy fried chicken with a sauce. Many commentators, particularly from Malaysia and Indonesia, pointed out that rendang is usually cooked as a stew and is not intended to be crispy, and that both judges had failed to differentiate between "crispy" and "under-cooked", seemingly missing the point that she had been given chicken and thirty minutes to produce a dish.
Najib Razak, the Malaysian Prime Minister at the time, joined the conversation with a subtle tweet denouncing the judges' opinion. The former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamed also joined in, suggesting that the judges were confusing rendang with KFC, also demonstrating that they had not actually seen the programme in question.
MasterChef (original series)Edit
Note: The original MasterChef series did not appear in 1998.
MasterChef Goes Large and MasterChef (revived series)Edit
MasterChef Goes LargeEdit
The show's original name returned in 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 in 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|
|16||24 February 2020||17 April 2020|
|17||1 March 2021||14 April 2021||18|
- What The Winners Did Next – featured winners from series 1 and 2 of MasterChef Goes Large, broadcast on 22 January 2007
- 1.^ The final was pulled from its 9 April 2021 air date due to the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
|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||11 October 2019||18|
|15||1 July 2020||30 July 2020||15|
- A Recipe for Success – Six-part series looking back over 15 years of Celebrity MasterChef, first episode broadcast on 6 August 2020.
- Christmas Cook-off - 2 episodes, where past contestants competed to hold the title of Christmas champion; first episode broadcast on 21 December 2020, second episode broadcast on 23 December 2020.
- 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.
- Masterchef: 1994. London: Vermilion. 4 July 1994. ISBN 978-0091786861.
- Junior Masterchef 1994. London: Vermilion. 14 November 1994. ISBN 978-0091786915.
- Masterchef: 1995. London: Vermilion. 10 July 1995. ISBN 978-0091806835.
- Junior Masterchef 1995. London: Vermilion. 23 October 1995. ISBN 978-0091806682.
- Masterchef: 1996. London: Ebury Press. 25 April 1996. ISBN 978-0091814625.
- The Best of Masterchef. London: Ebury Press. 2 January 1997. ISBN 978-0091853068.
- Masterchef: 1997. London: Ebury Press. 3 April 1997. ISBN 978-0091853051.
- Junior Masterchef 1998. London: Ebury Press. 5 March 1998. ISBN 978-0091853228.
- Masterchef: Best of British Cooking. London: Ebury Press. 7 January 1999. ISBN 978-0091868444.
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- "The old Masterchef studio entrance is being demolished". Ram Brewery on Twitter. 17 September 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2016.[non-primary source needed]
- "Sound Stage & Self Contained Studio, Stage 15 - 3Mills Studios". 3Mills.
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- "Celebrity MasterChef returns to prime time BBC One with all-star line-up". BBC Media Centre. 24 June 2013.
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- "Celeb MasterChef has an amazing lineup". Digital Spy. 13 May 2015.
- "Celebrity MasterChef is back TONIGHT: Meet the stars". Digital Spy. 22 June 2016.
- "BBC - BBC One's Celebrity Masterchef serves up series 12". BBC.
- "BBC - Celebrity MasterChef fires up the ovens for another hot summer".
- "BBC - Celebrity MasterChef spices up the kitchen for its 14th series". BBC.
- Davies, Megan (30 July 2020). "Celebrity MasterChef's Gethin Jones explains why he had to leave the competition early". Digital Spy.
- "Meet the contestants on Celebrity MasterChef 2020". Radio Times.
- France-Presse, Agence (3 April 2018). "'I would rendang his head': UK MasterChef judges stir up a storm". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
- 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". The Malay Mail. 3 April 2018. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
- MasterChef at BBC Programmes
- MasterChef at UKGameshows.com
- Celebrity MasterChef
- Celebrity MasterChef at IMDb
- MasterChef Goes Large at UKGameshows.com
- MasterChef Goes Large at IMDb