Anneka Rice: Hell’s Kitchen was a ‘brutal and revolting’ experience

Anneka Rice has said appearing on cooking show Hell’s Kitchen was a “brutal and revolting” experience.

The broadcaster featured in the third series of the ITV programme, which starred chef Marco Pierre White, in 2007.

The fiery cooking competition starred celebrities including former Blue singer Lee Ryan and model Abigail Clancy and was won by former boxer Barry McGuigan.

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Marco Pierre White (Steve Parsons/PA)

When asked about the programme, Rice said: “That was just brutal and revolting.

“There, the chefs just call everyone the C-word, honestly it’s horrible.

“That was very much the uglier side of kitchen life.”

She added: “Marco Pierre White was just there to shovel out abuse.

“Not so much him, the sous-chefs. It’s just horrible, it’s brutal.

“It was very manipulated. They wanted you to feel brutalised, I think, so that you broke.

“But it was horrible. A really unpleasant experience, which was a shame, because frankly television shouldn’t really be unpleasant.”

Rice, 62, is to star in the Great Celebrity Bake Off.

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(Ian West/PA)

The former Challenge Anneka host said the charity show for Stand Up To Cancer was “heaven”.

She added: “It’s a complete 360-degree turnaround to go into the Bake Off tent, which is just full of people wanting you to enjoy yourself and create something gorgeous.”

Rice said she had spent time in the kitchen during lockdown, but she was “cooking, not baking”.

She added: “I absolutely adore cooking. It’s very much more instinctive, and all about trying out flavours, a bit of this, a bit more of that, whereas baking is so exact, it’s a science.

“Honestly, it’s like being in double chemistry at school. But it was a revelation on Bake Off having an oven that worked – and seeing the alchemy of how the dough mixture transformed into something else through the oven door.

“I found it absolutely transfixing. I was down at the oven door level the whole time, looking.”

The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up To Cancer airs on March 9, at 8pm on Channel 4.