Former criminal barrister James Nathan has been named this year’s MasterChef.

Around six million viewers watched as James, 34, from Bristol, beat finalists Emily Ludolf and Jonny Stevenson to the cooking crown.

James gave up his career in law to pursue his passion for cooking and now hopes to land a job in the kitchens of a top restaurant.

James had proved himself to be a talented cook throughout the gruelling six weeks of heats on the BBC2 show, which included cooking for the army and for a select group of Michelin-starred chefs.

And he dazzled judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace with his final three-course meal.

He cooked a mozzarella ravioli with tomato sauce and basil cream, a main course of tea-infused venison served with red cabbage and roast potatoes, followed by a chocolate roulade.

James said: “This has been my springboard to the catering world. I want to get a job in one of the best kitchens and ultimately open my own restaurant.

“Winning MasterChef has completely changed the shape of my life.

“It was probably the most nerve-wracking but exhilarating experience that I have ever had or am ever likely to have.”

Gregg said: “James is the most driven, focused and talented amateur cook it has been my pleasure to observe.

“When you’re watching James cook – it’s easy to forget that this man is not a professional.”