MasterChef The Professionals: A Festive Knockout winner Oli Martin has said it is “great” the programme is highlighting the restaurant industry at a time when it is struggling.
The chef said the sector is facing a “pretty bleak” situation and “a lot of small businesses are really going to struggle”.
The 2018 finalist told the PA news agency: “It is great to highlight the industry at the moment.
“With everything that’s going on, I feel like the industry feels like we are the first thing to get cut every time something happens.
“It’s looking pretty bleak, especially with this lockdown that’s just started again and obviously London going into Tier 4.
“I think a lot of small businesses are really going to struggle.
“It is a massive shame for the industry at the moment, it is really struggling and it is going to take a lot to come back from, I think.”
He added that returning to the programme was “great fun”.
“It brings back all the nerves, it brings back the excitement as well as the nerves.
“It was great fun, I really enjoyed myself, probably more than I thought I would have done to be honest. It was a great group of people.”
Martin saw off competition from former contestants including 2011 finalist Steve Barringer and 2019’s Exose Grant Lopo-Ndinga and Olivia Burt.
They were tasked with preparing New Year’s Eve dinners and also had to complete a skills test using up Christmas Day leftovers.
Martin said he is “super pleased about winning it”.
“The first time I went on there I got beaten by a better person in the final and that was that.
“It was really nice to go back on and prove my worth, I suppose.”
He said he thinks he has improved “massively” since he first appeared on the show.