From April 1st on BBC One, fifty-eight passionate and talented hopefuls will begin their journey on MasterChef UK. With contestants hailing from across the UK – from Dorset to Sunderland, the Scottish Borders and North Wales - and from all walks of life, such as a farmer, archaeologist and musical director - and bringing their food and cultural heritage to the table, the judges can expect a diverse explosion of flavours.


The judges, John Torode and Greg Wallace, will set some brand-new challenges, along with old favourites, in order for the best contestants to progress in the competition. Each week for four Heat Weeks, two groups of six home cooks arrive walk through the kitchen doors, ready to make their mark on the judges.

First the amateurs must earn the right to wear a MasterChef apron in two new challenges: Basic to Brilliant, taking an everyday ingredient and turning it into something truly spectacular; and an Invention Test with a twist as they Think on their Feet to create an outstanding plate of food based around a set element such as gnocchi, trout, meringue, or quail.

The last four standing will then show off their own style in two courses served to three familiar faces from MasterChef series past - who understand the pressures, but also know what it takes to get to The Final. That Quarter Final brief is then set by some of country’s toughest critics and chefs - to deliver food greatness based on anything from the perfect pie to an exquisite school dinner-inspired dish.

The fifth week will be a celebration of MasterChef talent with a twist as contestants head towards the sharp end of the competition. After five weeks of fierce cook-offs for the cream rise to the top, MasterChef enters its sixth week with contestants whittled down to just 16 for Knockout Week.

The culinary tasks include a Market Invention Test in the MasterChef kitchen; the opportunity to step inside a professional kitchen for the first time and deliver a lunch service at two of London’s top restaurants – Nessa, led by Executive Chef Tom Cenci, and Joia, under Head Chef Jose Jara – getting the rare insight into how these prominent chefs and their teams work as well needing to keep up their standards; and back in the MasterChef kitchen, attention to detail and keeping calm under pressure will be key to creating nine identical portions of a single canapé.


Semi Finalists will need to rise to some incredible challenges including: catering a extraordinary event celebrating MasterChef’s legacy and emerging talent, as well its wider influence on the UK’s culinary food scene; tackling an ingredient they didn’t enjoy as a child; creating a theatrical and surprising dish; pulling out all the stops to impress Michelin-starred Swedish chef, Niklas Ekstedt, renowned as the world’s leading open fire chef and cooking at Nomadic Dinners, a woodland restaurant without walls; and finally creating a plate of food inspired by a past contestant to celebrate an amazing cook that has walked through the MasterChef doors over the last 20 years - amateur, professional or celebrity.

The four strongest, most creative and determined contenders step up to the Final Week – which holds in store an array of demanding and eye-opening cooking challenges and discoveries. Travelling to the culinary melting pot of Singapore - one of Asia’s food hotspots – the contestants immerse themselves with a trio of exciting challenges at Chong Pang Hawker Market, Pangium – led by Michelin-starred chef Malcolm Lee - and cooking for an exclusive guest list of the top chefs in Singapore, including MasterChef Singapore judge Damian D’Silva at The Fullerton Bay Hotel.

The four are then back in London with unique, and never to be repeated, dream job of taking on Chef’s Table at globally-revered Le Gavroche. The amateur cooks will deliver one of the last services of the country’s most iconic and trailblazing restaurants before the close doors for the last time - under the watchful eye of world-leading chef and past MasterChef: The Professionals judge, Michel Roux Jr.

Finally, with one headed home it’s back to the studio where the Final Three must produce the best three dishes of their lives for John Torode and Greg Wallace - as only one of them can lift the trophy and become the 20th MasterChef Champion.


Based on a format created by Franc Roddam, MasterChef is the world’s most successful cooking format* - celebrating food and discovering culinary talent in an exhilarating competition.

Produced by Shine TV in the UK, there have been 20 series of the revamped version of MasterChef, 18 series of Celebrity MasterChef, 16 series of MasterChef: The Professionals; three series of Junior MasterChef and two series of BBC Three’s Young MasterChef. Celebrity MasterChef, Junior MasterChef and MasterChef: The Professionals have all been BAFTA-nominated and The Professionals won a BAFTA in 2010.

Now commissioned across 70 markets, MasterChef has broadcast more than 14,000 episodes and 650 series worldwide. The format and finished programmes are represented internationally by Banijay.

The new MasterChef series starts Monday 1st April on BBC One, or watch on catchup on the BBC iPlayer. Images: BBC/Shine TV