MasterChef 2017: Gregg Wallace and John Torode welcome new contestants as the BBC cooking competition returns

Ben Travis

Get ready, MasterChef fans – the BBC cooking contest is back for its 13th series and, well, it’s pretty much the same as ever.

Gregg Wallace and John Torode are returning to encourage (and intimidate) this year’s hopeful cooks as they enter the kitchen.

Except, there’s one difference this year. The usual set has been expanded this year to include the homely new MasterChef 'market'.

Stocked up with pork, chicken, pancetta, halibut and mussels, the show’s contestants have to choose their ingredients wisely and whip up a dish to stoke Wallace and Torode’s interest in the opening invention test.

On the market: MasterChef has a snazzy new pantry for 2017 (BBC/Shine TV)

The stakes are high – the three contestants who don’t immediately impress with that first dish are sent crashing straight out of the contest.

For the five that make it through, it’s on to an even more daunting task: cooking a two-course meal that will impress former MasterChef winners and finalists.

It’s no easy task – but the three that make the best dishes will be on to the quarter final.

In essence, it’s the competition you know and love – Gregg will go wild for all the puddings, John will continue to look like a muppet (not in a mean way, he quite literally looks like one of Jim Henson’s puppets), and viewers will sit and home and repeat the mantra: cooking doesn’t get tougher than this.

MasterChef, it’s good to have you back.

BBC One, 8pm

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