The Celebrity MasterChef contestants have been announced! Back for its 12th series, will the celebrities be able to handle the heat of the kitchen...?

Celebrity MasterChef is back on BBC1 for its 12th series and the celebrities are itching to get into the kitchen. This year 20 celebrity MasterChef contestants will be as keen as ever to impress seasoned judges John Torode and Greg Wallace. Will the contestants have what it takes to make the judges tastebuds sing?

The Celebrity MasterChef contestants 2017:

So, who has been brave enough to sign up to this year’s series? An eclectic mix of sports figures, musicians and stars from show business and drama are hoping to prove they can handle the heat. The show will screen later this summer

Carla-Maria Lawson, BBC commissioning editor said: “Every year we are blown away by celebrities’ gastronomic prowess and this year doesn’t disappoint.”

She added: “The line-up is one of the strongest we have ever seen and we hope it will entertain and tantalise viewers in equal measure.”

From the world of sport we see French tennis legend Henri Leconte, seven times World Snooker champion Stephen Hendry, and double Olympic gold medallist Rebecca Adlington battle it out for Greg and John’s approval. Will they be out of their depth as they switch pools to cook for the professionals?

ulrika jonsson

From the worlds of acting, comedy and TV presenting, Jim Moir (Vic Reeves) and Ulrika Jonsson will be up against Angellica Bell, Debbie McGee, Tyger Drew Honey, Brian Bovell, Nick Moran, Dev Griffin, Julia Somerville, Abdullah Afzal, Aasmah Mir, Kate Bottley and Barney Harwood.

vic reeves

Representing the music industry, pop stars Rachel Stevens and Jaymi Hemsley will try to impress alongside Opera star Lesley Garret, and Patti Boulaye OBE.

What is Celebrity MasterChef?

The celebrity version of BBC1’s popular cooking programme runs in the same format as the regular series. The celebrities will have to identify mystery ingredients and perform under pressure in top class restaurants. The show will run for six weeks over 12 episodes, each lasting an hour.

As they are whittled down, they will have to adapt to catering for huge audiences and serve food on time that tastes and looks amazing.

This year the challenging mass-catered venues include the iconic Oval Cricket Ground, Kings College Dental Institute, Brooklands’ – Mercedes Benz World, and The Francis Crick Institute.

As ever the contestants will be cooking for an array of critics and past winners, including Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton.

Executive producer for Shine TV, David Ambler described series 12 of Celebrity Masterchef as ‘a must-see series’.

He added: “The challenges we set for MasterChef are designed to test and expand contestant’s cooking skills and knowledge. This year is no exception and the development that we see from our celebrities is truly inspiring.”

Previous Celebrity MasterChef winners:

With the newbies raring to fire up their cookers, we take a look back at the previous winners of Celebrity MasterChef.

  • Alexis Conran, 2016
  • Kimberly Wyatt, 2015
  • Sophie Thompson, 2014
  • Ade Edmonson, 2013
  • Emma Kennedy, 2012
  • Phil Vickery, 2011
  • Lisa Faulkner, 2010

Celebrity MasterChef 2017 will screen later this summer on BBC1