Celebrity chef Ross Burden has died aged 45 after complications arising from his cancer treatment and stars have been paying lavish tribute to him.

New Zealand-born Ross made his name as one of the stars of BBC’s Ready Steady Cook after appearing in the final of MasterChef in 1993 and went on to cook for famous clients including Princess Anne and Joan Collins.

Sue Perkins tweeted: “So sad to hear about Ross Burden. He gamely endured our daytime prattings on Light Lunch for years. A joy to be around. A proper gent. RIP.”

Her Great British Bake Off co-star Paul Hollywood said: “I’m so sorry to hear the news that Ross Burden has died.. appearing for years in Ready, Steady Cook, my thoughts are with his family x”

According to the New Zealand Herald News, Ross lived in London for nearly 20 years before returning to New Zealand as a judge for MasterChef on its first series there in 2010.

He had been diagnosed with leukaemia last July, but died unexpectedly in Auckland City Hospital last week from a fatal infection following a bone marrow transplant.

Ross’s sister Kirsten Hughes said he had seen the illness as a ‘blip on the horizon’.

She added: “He’s just a friendly, compassionate guy – nothing was too much trouble. He was my big, fantastic incredible, larger-than-life brother.

“Right up until probably a week-and-a-half ago, he was making his next lot of plans. He had the world mapped out.”