Celebrity MasterChef is back on our screens for an 18th series, with a keen new group of famous contestants hoping to be crowned the champion.
We're ready to be surprised and amazed by the culinary talents of some of our favourite stars, but which of them will lift the trophy?
Here's who is taking part in the show this week.
Things are heating up in the Celebrity Masterchef kitchen with the series entering its endgame. This week, eight semi-finalists will take on a new batch of tasks to find out who will be crowned as 2023's champion.
Making it all the way to semi-finals week are former Love Island star Lucas Bish, actor Amy Walsh, opera star and presenter Wynne Evans, singer-songwriter Jamelia, TV star Mica Ven, comedian and presenter Marcus Brigstocke, comic Shazia Mirza and singer Max George.
As the competition progresses, these eight hopefuls will slowly be whittled down until a winner emerges - with former Gogglebox star Mica Ven already leaving the competition after a tense task airing earlier this week (29 Aug) that saw contestants split into two teams and forced to cater for 100 people.
With just seven chefs remaining and more people due to leave, it's anyone's game...
In week four, five new celebrities entered the kitchen, each vying for a spot in the semi-final - but it was professional dancer Dianne Buswell who was first to leave the competition.
The remaining four celebrities - including Emmerdale’s Amy Walsh, Black Eyed Peas singer Apl.De.Ap and actor Michael Praed - battled it out for a place in the quarter-final - but it wasn’t easy.
After a tense pairs challenge in which Walsh and Bish went up against Praed and Apl, the quartet had to follow things up with a nailbiting stint in a hectic professional restaurant.
As if all that wasn’t difficult enough, once back in the kitchen, judges Gregg Wallace and John Torode challenged them to make a dish that would be served via a food truck. While that may sound easy enough, the show's expert judges weren't so easily pleased and when all was said and done, it was Praed who was asked to leave the show.
"I'm disappointed by it is what it is," said Praed upon hearing the news. "I will look back on MasterChef with great fondness."
Next, quarter-finalists Walsh, Apl and Bish will compete for a place in the semi-finals where they will go up against their fellow competitors and previously-annoucned semi-finalists Wynne Evans and Jamelia.
Week four contestants
Actor Amy Walsh is perhaps best known as Tracy Metcalfe on ITV soap Emmerdale but here, she’ll be swapping the farm for the kitchen as she tries to impress the Celebrity Masterchef judges.
“I am a massive fan of all of the shows,” says Walsh on joining the series. “It was always a total pipe dream to one day do it and then it came up. I thought... be careful what you wish for!”
An avid cook at home, Walsh says she makes a pretty mean Beef Wellington but admits that the recipe is risky: “You don't want to do it under pressure, but when it works, it's great,” she says.
That said, Walsh’s already done her homework: “I've been quite focused on trying to learn recipes off by heart so that I've got something in my locker. I've worked quite hard.”
Rapper, singer and music producer Apl.De.Ap will likely be regonizable to many viewers as one of the founding members of the Black Eyed Peas and a co-creator of many of their hit-songs like I Gotta Feeling and Where Is The Love?
However, when he enters the Masterchef kitchen, he’ll be just another budding cook looking for success. “I was a bit nervous and anxious, but excited at the same time,” he says of joining the show. “It’s definitely a challenge, but in the right way.”
Carrying his work ethic in music over to the culinary world, he’s also been putting in the time to ensure he delivers a series of stunning dishes: “I've been practising for over two weeks now, trying to find ways to cook things in many different ways, because I've only known one way. I’ve been doing different recipes for desserts. I'm saving everything I see on Instagram.”
“I’ve got a bunch of notes on my phone,” continues Apl. “I’m paying as much attention as I can, from aeroplane food to restaurants. I've been trying to record everything in my head.”
Born in Australia, Dianne Buswell is a professional dancer who has appeared on a number of popular shows including Strictly Come Dancing and its American counterpart, Dancing With The Stars.
Citing her reasons for taking part in this year’s competition, Buswell explains that it’s a great opportunity to try and impress her family. "My family are all very good cooks and I want to go home and say to my mum ‘I think I'm a better cook than my brothers now!’” she laughs. “That is the aim of the game.”
Reflecting on the experience, Buswell is still in awe at how surreal entering the Masterchef Kitchen really was: "It was so cool walking into the kitchen for the first time. Especially seeing the MasterChef sign everywhere. I'm like, ‘Oh, we're really here now,’” she says. “It was nerve-wracking, exciting, and I loved it."
According to former Love Island star Luca Bish, he joined Celebrity Masterchef to save some money. "I keep ordering takeaways!” he laughs. “I really want to learn how to cook. I'm 23 now so I want to be a bit more independent and I love the reaction you get when you cook a good plate of food for someone.”
Despite admitting that he doesn’t really do much cooking in his regular life, he was quick to reveal that his family had been impressed by the few skills he had learned in the lead-up to his appearance on the show.
If there’s one thing he always has in his fridge, it’s chocolate. “I just love chocolate,” he admits. “That would probably be my main ingredient from the whole of my cooking experience. Then eggs, I love my poached egg in the morning and milk. It sounds so boring but it works!”
Michael Praed is an actor who shot to fame in the 1980s thanks to his role as Robin of Loxley in the British TV show Robin of Sherwood. In the years since, he’s appeared in a variety of programmes and stage productions, including a stint on Emmerdale.
Praed cited the show’s positive and fun vibes for convincing him to sign on: “This is a reality show that is actually affirmative. They're not there to rip you to pieces,” he said. “Plus, it's a competition and I like competitions.”
While his previous cooking practice has been minimal, he’s not had many complaints so far. Of course, entering the Celebrity Masterchef kitchen is a different beast entirely. "It is, of course, a little intimidating because you're walking into the unknown,” said Praed, “but we're all in the same boat.”
Week three contestants
RuPaul's Drag Race UK alum Cheryl Hole is heading into the kitchen for Celebrity Masterchef in week three, and she decided to appear on the show in order to "challenge" herself.
Reflecting on the experience, Cheryl said that the BBC cooking show reminded her of her time on Drag Race UK, and RuPaul's Drag Race UK Vs the World.
"Going into the workroom on Drag Race and walking into MasterChef was a very similar experience," Cheryl said.
"You’re transported to that thing that you watch on TV and suddenly I'm in there. It’s a very surreal experience but you have to snap back to reality and remind yourself you’ve got a task to do."
Singer Jamelia is joining Celebrity Masterchef for her four daughters, who she hopes sees her time on the cooking show as a sign of being courageous.
Jamelia admitted that being on the show brought on nerves, as she said of her experience: "I’d never, ever been so nervous. I had to keep doing really deep breaths.
"I saw John, Gregg and the MasterChef kitchen. I’m a huge, huge fan of the show – I’ve watched every season, I’ve watched the celebrities, the amateurs, and professionals so to actually be in the kitchen, I said ‘oh my god, I’m in the telly!’"
Musician Locksmith is also set to appear on the show, he is part of the group Rudimental who have made several chart-topping songs, including Feel the Love.
The DJ revealed that he had refused to appear on the show before but because his family are fans he changed his mind, and he said: "Cooking isn’t my thing so I’m jumping out of my comfort zone, which is something I love to do and that is the main reason why I signed up."
Locksmith said of the experience: "It was daunting, but at the same time it was inspiring. You see these guys who are at the top of their profession and they’re about to judge us and you’ve got to step up to the mark."
Singer and former glamour model Sam Fox joined Celebrity Masterchef because she is a longtime fan of the cooking programme.
She said that she "had palpitations like you wouldn't believe" when filming the show, and added: "I couldn’t believe I was on MasterChef, my favourite cooking programme.
"I’ve watched it for years and I can’t believe I get to be on it. It’s a bit like the first time I went on Top of the Pops – that feeling that I’m actually doing a show that I love."
Opera singer Wynne Evans, who some viewers might know best from the GoCompare adverts, is also appearing on the programme in week three.
Evans said that he "couldn't sleep" the night before filming for the show, and found it a "really, really scary" prospect, but he said he started to relax once they began.
Speaking about why he appeared on the show, Evans said: "I wanted to do Celebrity MasterChef so I could learn some tips, improve my skills and try to get better at cooking for the kids. I want to be able to surprise people a bit more when they come round and say ‘oh look what I’ve done with this poussin!’"
Week two contestants
Dave Benson Phillips
Actor, entertainer and children’s TV icon Dave Benson Phillips has been hoping to appear on Celebrity MasterChef for a while – and now that it’s happening, he can’t quite believe it.
“When I was called, they said ‘Dave, what are you doing? Would you like to achieve a life's ambition?’ and I thought, right, I'm going to go on MasterChef,” he says. “So here I am, hoping to learn skills and make new friends. I'm just looking forward to being part of the MasterChef alumni.”
Despite wanting to be on the show for a long time, it’ll be interesting to see what the judges make of his cooking, “the kindest quote from Mrs Phillips would be that it is a ‘work in progress!’” he laughs.
The Wanted’s frontman Max George joins this week’s Celebrity MasterChef despite not cooking that much at home. “I wanted to just try something completely out of my comfort zone and learn how to cook,” he says. “As I'm getting older, I'm starting to think I should do it more and I thought this would definitely be the place to get some decent tips!”
So far, he’s managed to impress his girlfriend with his practice runs in the kitchen, but he’s quick to admit that cooking on the show will be considerably more intense. “I think when you see John and Gregg it feels like you’re going on X Factor or something. Quite nerve-wracking!”
BBC 1Xtra DJ Remi Burgz joined Celebrity MasterChef to learn something new and improve her skills in the kitchen. “I thought why not get stuck into it? I learn on the go and I'm a practical person, so I thought this is the best way for me to learn how to cook,” she explains.
However, Burgz is the first to point out that cooking isn’t her strong suit - something that her family can attest to also: “I'm not the person they go to when it comes to cooking. Usually it’s my brother or my mum or dad,” she says.
British comedian Shazia Mirza joins this week’s show and by the sounds of it she isn’t too worried about how she’ll get on: “I can make egg on toast, egg and chips, beans on toast, so I'll be alright,” she says.
Unlike her fellow chefs, she’s taken on a very specific (and tongue-in-cheek) method of practising for the big event. “I prepared for MasterChef by burning two kitchens down. I burnt down the home economics room at school once and my mum’s kitchen once. But I've learned my lesson, I know not to leave the oven on when there's nothing in there!” Hopefully, things will be better on telly.
TV presenter and comedian Terry Christian already has a stint on Bake Off under his belt so Celebrity MasterChef felt like a natural progression. You won’t catch him doing any pre-prep though: “Some people prepare before and practice, which is cheating to me,” he laughs.
“I know people get nervous because nobody wants to be the first one out. But you know, that's just life,” adds Christian. “I’m here to enjoy the journey.”
Week One contestants
Former Love Island winner and daughter of Danny Dyer, Dani is a Celebrity MasterChef superfan, so taking part was a dream come true – but also pretty scary.
She said: "I was shaking walking into that kitchen! We were all standing there going ‘who’s going in first, who’s going in first?’ No one wanted to walk in first but that moment of walking in was just... oh my god it was so scary."
But she added that her family are fans of her cooking: "They’ve got a lot of faith in me and they say that they love my food. I have to believe my mum, if she doesn’t like something, she lets you know. There are no fake responses. My mum is scarier than John and Gregg."
Best known for playing Jay in The Inbetweeners, the actor is showing us a different side to himself this week.
However, he admitted: "I don't cook a lot at home. My wife cooks for me and the kids because she makes sure they're fed properly and don't get food poisoning and stuff like that. So, I leave it up to her."
Buckley added: "I love cooking cereal, but even then, I get that wrong. The kids say I put too much milk in it."
Comedian Marcus Brigstocke has a lot to live up to as he's good mates with the 2016 winner Alexis Conran.
He said: "I’m a foodie – borderline obsessed with it and there’s also nothing I don’t like."
But even with Conran's encouragement, Brigstocke felt the nerves: "It is genuinely daunting. I’ve seen it on telly for so many years so to walk in and take part is surreal and intimidating. John and Gregg were so nice, very friendly and welcoming.
"But you’re still cooking for people who really know their stuff and also working in a kitchen where you don't quite know where everything is or how it works. In your own kitchen, there's a rhythm to how you cook and that all goes away on MasterChef. You’re like, ‘oh, what's this? I've run out of that. How do you turn these on?!’"
Former Gogglebox star Mica Ven is crossing over from TV watcher to TV star for the contest and is hoping her love of food will carry her through to the next round.
She said: "My family think I'm really good cook. They do. They like my food and I know they're not lying because they would tell me if my food isn’t nice.
"They genuinely kind of gas me up and make me think that I'm a good chef. So, hopefully they're not liars!"
Radio DJ and former Strictly Come Dancing contestant Richie Anderson is hoping to get a little further in his latest TV contest.
He says he's a big fan of using fruit in cooking, but working on the Radio 2 breakfast show leaves him with little time to practise in the kitchen.
Anderson said: "I’m up early and I get home tired, so I'm quite lazy in the kitchen. That's my excuse anyway! I just throw things in the oven, bung things in the microwave, but I wanted to come here to learn. My aim is to come on here and get good enough to throw a summer garden party where I've cooked everything for all my friends and family."
Celebrity MasterChef continues tonight (10 August) at 9pm on BBC One.