Celebrity MasterChef is to return to an evening slot following a viewer outcry when the show was shifted to afternoons last year.

The show will be screened by BBC Two at 6.30pm when it comes back next month with Gareth Gates, Laila Rouass, Jamie Theakston and Olympic gold-winning cyclist Rebecca Romero in the line-up.

Fans of the series were left bewildered by the change of scheduling last year which saw programmes screened at 2.15pm during the week, with catch-up shows on Friday and Saturday evenings.

But when the final came round, the name of the winner was withheld from the afternoon screening and was not announced until the Saturday programme.

It led to a string of complaints and the BBC apologised for the “confusion” as some viewers had expected to see the victor crowned during a daytime show.

However, the BBC has confirmed the show will now move back to evenings.

A BBC spokeswoman said: “Celebrity MasterChef will be scheduled in the popular early evening slot of 6.30pm on BBC Two.”

John Torode and Gregg Wallace will again host the series, which will see 16 celebs battle through culinary challenges for a place in the final eight.

Also taking part will be EastEnders actor George Layton, former Neighbours star Anne Charleston and garden designer Diarmuid Gavin.

The line-up is completed by Emma Kennedy, TV presenters Michael Underwood, Zoe Salmon and Richard McCourt, swimmer and presenter Steve Parry, former Leeds United and England star Danny Mills, comedian Jenny Eclair, singer Javine Hylton and Bucks Fizz star Cheryl Baker.

The six-week series will see the stars put to the test feeding customers at locations such as Royal Holloway University and Chessington World of Adventures.

They will also have to impress past finalists by cooking for them, including previous winners Lisa Faulkner and Phil Vickery.