John Partridge has told how Celebrity MasterChef helped him beat his cocaine habit.
The actor, 48, was a contestant on the popular programme in 2018 and told the Mirror that cooking proved to be his way out after he got on “the wrong path”.
The former EastEnders star said he started using recreational drugs in the 90s but that it began to get out of control when his mum died in 2017.
“I wasn’t a big drinker, I was a big snorter, yeah, that was my thing,” he told the paper. “The booze was really secondary, the coke was the thing that was my go to.”
Deciding things needed to change, the actor sought advice from a friend in recovery who told him he needed to stop using, and also went to Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings before eventually giving them up because he didn’t think it was right for him.
Things changed one evening when Partridge saw Celebrity MasterChef on TV and asked his agent to sign him up for the cookery competition.
From that point, whipping up culinary treats distracted him from drugs and he said instead of going to NA he would go to the supermarket to buy ingredients for his creations.
“When it came to that time in the evening – the witching hour – when my husband, Jon, would go to work and I’d be here alone I’d start to get twitchy fingers,” he said.
“So, I’d buy random ingredients and cook.”
“That was how it started,” added the actor, who went on to win the TV show.
Partridge is best known for playing Christian Clarke in EastEnders from 2008 until 2012 and has also appeared in television shows such as Celebrity Big Brother and Tumble.
The actor also has many theatre credits to his name, with his stage productions including Cabaret and A Chorus Line.