CELEBRITY MasterChef isn’t just delivering a seasonal special this Christmas – it is bringing back some of the show’s most famous finalists.
I can reveal that Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood will be joined by former Made In Chelsea cast member Spencer Matthews for the festive one-off.
Also signing up will be 2015 I’m A Celebrity winner and Geordie Shore star Vicky Pattison, as well as journalist and Loose Women panellist Janet Street-Porter.
A TV insider said: “Producers didn’t just want to create a generic Christmas version of the show, so they decided to make it an ‘all-stars’ affair too. And the celebrities they’ve chosen to come back certainly made an impression with their personalities and cooking the first time round.
“For the past two years the Christmas specials for MasterChef professionals have proved a hit, so this was a logical next step.” Craig used to work as a chef as a day job when he first started out in showbusiness and also did well when he appeared on an episode of Ready Steady Cook.
He was one of the finalists on the second-ever Celebrity MasterChef 13 years ago. And as well as judging on Strictly, the foodie has gone on to have his own cookery slot on ITV’s Lorraine.
Janet was on the 2013 show and, along with Les Dennis, was narrowly beaten in the final by comedian Ade Edmondson. Spencer made it to the final of the 2018 series, getting pipped to the post by singer and ex-EastEnders actor John Partridge.
Vicky was also a finalist in 2019, but admitted she found the experience a strain. She revealed: “I spent most of my nights crying into a glass of white wine in the bath because I was just so overwhelmed with the stress.” A MasterChef spokesman said last night: “We do not comment on speculation about line-ups.”
ALWAYS EN VOGUE
SURELY only Vogue Williams could pull off a look mixing military chic with a hint of Heidi.
But the ex-model made the combination of combat pants and plaits look natural as she strutted into work to DJ at Heart Radio’s London base.
And she showed off a toned tummy just two months after giving birth to daughter Gigi.
STAR Wars actor John Boyega features in a gripping new trailer for the Small Axe miniseries which will air on BBC1 in November. Directed by Sir Steve McQueen, the five films focus on the experiences of black people in the UK.
HINDLEY AND WEST SHOCK
A NEW ITV documentary examines how Britain’s most notorious serial killers had a lesbian fling when they were serving life sentences for their hideous crimes.
But Rose West And Myra Hindley: Their Untold Story with Trevor McDonald does not only produce bizarre facts about their surprising relationship.
The show, which is screened tonight at 9pm, also reveals that West is a huge fan of BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing and got someone to cast a telephone vote for her in support of last year’s winner Kelvin Fletcher. Telly is just one of the “homely” pursuits she is allowed behind bars.
In the documentary, her former solicitor Leo Goatley says: “Rose West is a grandmother who cooks and sews and bakes – and kills and rapes.” But fellow inmates recall how, when an arson attack on her cell meant her budgie’s feathers got singed, she was foaming at the mouth with rage.
It is believed West’s relationship with Hindley, who died in 2002, was about gaining power. Criminal psychologist Prof David Canter said: “West would have looked to Hindley for help, so she was using sex to get what she wanted.
“Hindley would have been aware of that and could have potentially used West to get what she wanted.”
The special is one of the shows commissioned by ITV for its Crime And Punishment season. It is deeply unsettling, but compelling viewing.
KONNIE Huq holds the record as the longest-running Blue Peter presenter – but fronting a children’s TV show didn’t mean she was a natural at home-schooling.
She and husband Charlie Brooker struggled to turn their hand to teaching when their two sons were at home during lockdown.
Konnie, who is supporting environmental initiative Noah’s Ark Foundation, said: “I expected I’d be OK doing the schooling because of my Blue Peter days. It was really not the case. It was like pulling out teeth.”
- ITV insider docu The Savoy airs on Sept 30
- Jenny Eclair to present new Channel 4 show Drawers Off
SIR MIKE MEETS HOMER
HE is a member of Monty Python who has criss-crossed the globe and earned himself a knighthood into the bargain.
But one of Sir Michael Palin's most notable achievements must surely be getting himself cast in an episode of The Simpsons. The comedian-turned-TV adventurer has become the latest in a long line of famous names to lend their voices to the cult TV show.
Other celebrities recruited for the animated series have ranged from Simon Cowell and Daniel Radcliffe to Professor Stephen Hawking and Glenn Close.
Even British comic Ricky Gervais has voiced a character, in an episode called This Is Your Wife.
Sir Michael will play a curator in a museum which Marge and Homer Simpson visit – a suitably dignified role for one of our national treasures.
WHAT? Brain Surgeons: Between Life And Death, Channel 4, 9pm.
WHY? This documentary goes inside a neurological centre to observe some of the world’s most intricate and dangerous ops by top surgeons.
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