Masterchef: The Sequels


I WROTE recently about the popular BBC culinary challenge series, Masterchef, which is beginning to spawn more sequels than Star Wars. First up after regular Masterchef was the obligatory Celebrity Masterchef, then we were served Professional Masterchef with Michel Roux Jr, and, most recently, Junior Masterchef. So where next for this BBC franchise? Wonder what they could do next as a spin-off? Well, here are some ideas for desperate BBC executives looking to squeeze MasterChef until the pips squeak…

How about Teen Masterchef where the winner is the one who’s the last to storm out of the kitchen in a sulk? And then Blindfolded MasterChef where the winning contestant is the one who makes the least amount of mess on the floor? Followed by MasterChef in Space where contestants are rated on their ability to chop, mix and stir ingredients in a gravity-free environment and produce a meal without blowing up the spacecraft. And not forgetting Baby MasterChef where the winner is the baby who can stuff the most food in its mouth before throwing up.
And, of course, we mustn’t leave out Pensioner MasterChef where seniors cook three course meals consisting of purees and soups. Lots of soups. Wag MasterChef whose winner is the Wag sporting the most sequins and highest heels. Bankers MasterChef, where the race is on to see who’s the first to cook the books. MP MasterChef, who can order the most expensive ingredients on expenses in the shortest possible time. And Hedgefund Masterchef, who can devise the most exotic meals in a Caribbean tax haven.


Then there’s always B*****dChef. Not only would these contestants be ranked on their culinary skills but also marked up or down on how well they could ape the interpersonal skills of Gordon Ramsay. And how about PlasteredChef, in which the contestants have to approach the late Keith Floyd levels of drunkenness before being let loose in the kitchen?

The BBC, though, could always take the format to Sky TV and get it sponsored by a major credit card company. Hey presto – MasterCardChef! The gimmick here that any chopping, dicing or spreading would be done with one of its credit cards while the contestants and presenters extol the virtues of lower-interest repayments. The producers would be minted and end up with more friends than Elton John at his annual White Tie and Tiara Ball.

Whatever the age or background of the contestants, however, of one thing we can be sure: they “want to win this more than anything”. Yet the format is as cliché-ridden and dated as a prawn cocktail. What it really needs isn’t another sequel but a brand new recipe.

By Nora Johnson

Nora Johnson´s novel, The De Clerambault Code (

at Amazon. Profits to Cudeca


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