The ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ judge who was a finalist on the second-ever star studded edition of the show 13 years ago is reportedly being lined up for a return alongside some of the competition’s beloved finalists for the upcoming Christmas special.
An insider told The Sun newspaper’s Bizarre TV column: “Producers didn’t just want to create a generic Christmas version of the show, so they decided to make it an ‘all-stars’ affair too.
“And the celebrities they’ve chosen to come back certainly made an impression with their personalities and cooking the first time round.
“For the past two years the Christmas specials for ‘MasterChef’ professionals have proved a hit, so this was a logical next step.
The sharp-tongued judge used to be a chef when he was first starting out in show business, once appearing on ‘Ready Steady Cook’, and he went onto have his own cookery segment on ‘Lorraine’.
Meanwhile, former ‘Made In Chelsea’ star Spencer Matthews, ‘I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!’ winner Vicky Pattison and ‘Loose Women’ panellist Janet Street-Porter are all being lined up for the festive show.
But a ‘MasterChef’ spokesman told the newspaper: “We do not comment on speculation about line-ups.”
Riyadh Khalaf won the most recent celebrity series earlier this year, and he admitted tensions ran high throughout the competition.
He recently said: “You know when you stand at the back of the room and John [Torode] and Gregg [Wallace] are judging someone else’s dish, you know there’s about 20 cameras looking at your reaction and when they get a bad review for their food, you’ve got to go, ‘Ohh darling, that’s so bad!’
“But, deep down you’re like ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’ [when competitors fail]. It was bittersweet, you’re a nice person but it brings out the worst and best in you.”