Marco Pierre White is back in the kitchen as 12 celebrities tackle TV’s toughest cooking challenge. Here, he tells us more…

You act as mentor in Kitchen Burnout, where 12 celebrities must cook in a professional kitchen preparing meals for 25 diners – on their own! Tell us more about your role…
“I am just the ringmaster. I can help them and assist them, but they have to know how to apply what I’ve shown them to their own cooking.”

In four weekly heats, three stars go head-to-head in a culinary showdown. What’s the key to a celebrity being able to progress to the next stage in the competition?
“This series is all about how contestants can apply a strategy. A good strategy will always compensate for any lack of talent.”

What do you make of the 12 celebrities taking part in the series?
“All of them are different. You can have a perception of someone, but once you put them into chef’s whites and by a stove, you really get an insight into what they’re like as a person – and that’s what viewers want to see.”

Do you have a personal favourite?
“I’m not designed to get on with anybody, and I can’t have favourites – that’s not my job. My job is to inspire the contestants and get them ready for service at 7pm.”

What qualities will the winning celebrity have?
“The person who wins might not be the best cook at the start, but they absorb information quicker, apply a better strategy and can cope under pressure. Sometimes a person’s arrogance – thinking they’re the better cook – is what sinks them in the end.”

*Marco’s Kitchen Burnout starts on Friday, April 16 at 9pm on ITV1.