PREVIEW: Celebrity Best Home Cook, BBC One

The search for the first ever Celebrity Best Home Cook begins.

The ten celebrities battling it out are: reality TV star Ferne McCann; broadcaster and former Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls; Don’t Take My Baby and Years And Years actor, Ruth Madeley; Celebs Go Dating’s Tom Read Wilson; Coronation Street and Doctor Who actor Shobna Gulati; CBBC presenter and Strictly contestant Karim Zeroual; journalist and presenter Rachel Johnson; comedian and presenter Ed Byrne; comedian and writer Desiree Burch; and former Welsh rugby captain Gareth Thomas.

The trio of judges putting them through their culinary paces are the queen of home cooking Dame Mary Berry, Michelin-starred chef Angela Hartnett and fruit & veg expert Chris Bavin. On hand. with plenty of socially-distanced support and encouragement, is presenter Claudia Winkleman, who hosts with her usual dose of wit and warmth.

Each week the celebrity cooks are faced with two challenges, starting with Mary’s Ultimate round, where contestants produce their tried and tested food for special occasions. Up next it’s Chris’s Rustle Up challenge - one surprise ingredient and one hour to create a mid-week masterpiece.

Those who haven’t impressed enough across these two challenges will be picked to take part in Angela’s dreaded Eliminator, where the cooks must follow one of Angela’s recipes, perfectly. The Eliminator is judged blind, and the cook making the weakest version of the dish will be sent home. Judges will not know which cook has cooked which dish until they’ve made their decision.

This week, Mary wants to know what home cooking means to them, so she challenges them to produce their ultimate home cooked dinner. We see a range of different dishes and skills, from comforting macaroni cheese and lasagnes to spicy, fragrant curries and ambitious Mexican taco feasts. At the end of this round, the judges each pick their personal favourites.

The next day the celebrity cooks return to the kitchen to face Chris’s Rustle Up challenge, just one hour to rustle up a dish from a surprise ingredient. With no notes, no recipe books and only a limited selection of other ingredients they have to create a dish that will impress the judges enough to keep them out of the Eliminator. The judges then decide, based on the cooks’ performance in both rounds, who is safe and who needs to prove themselves by cooking for the Eliminator.

The first Eliminator is no mean feat. Angela’s recipes may sound simple but with the cooks now cooking to stay in the competition even the smallest error could see them sent home. With the judges out of the way, the safe cooks watch on. At the end of this round the judges taste all the dishes, not knowing who made which, before all of the cooks return to the kitchen and everyone learns at the same time which cook is leaving the competition. 10 celebrity cooks become nine.

Celebrity Best Home Cook begins Tuesday 26th January at 9pm on BBC One.