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Celebrity Best Home Cook 2021: Meet the judges and celeb contestants

An interesting bunch of celebs indeed!

Celebrity Best Home Cook offers a wholesome and very relatable celebration of home cooking.

A celeb version of the popular BBC series, Mary Berry returns to judge the home cooking abilities of ten celebrities.

But who else is judging the competition? And who is the host? And perhaps most importantly – who are the celebrities? Read on to get the answers and more…

Who are the Celebrity Best Home Cook judges?

This series has three judges – Mary Berry, Angela Hartnett and Chris Bavin.

Dame Mary Berry is of course iconic for her past Great British Bake Off head judge role.

Read more: Lorraine Kelly tells off Piers Morgan as he jokes about her figure

While Angela Hartnett, MBE,  is a former protégée of Gordon Ramsay and you’ll have seen her on past episodes of Best Home Cook as well as Kitchen Criminals.

best home cooks judges
Will the celebs impress these heavyweight judges? (Credit: BBC)

And Chris Bavin is a telly presenter and food importer. In addition to judging on previous seasons of Best Home Cook with Mary and Angela, he also co-hosts Eat Well for Less? with Gregg Wallace.

Who is hosting the 2021 series?

Claudia Winkleman is back to host the celeb addition of Best Home Cook. She says this series will be quite different.

Read more: Katie Price leaves viewers in tears with Harvey and Me documentary

Not just because of the celebrity additions, but also because of the strict new social distancing measures.

best home cook claudia
Claudia is back as the host (Credit: BBC)

Speaking to the BBC, Claudia said: “We’re socially distanced so dance around each other with two metres between us. I love Mary and we used to spend most of the time holding hands and being really physically close together so it felt slightly strange at first.

“However we got used to it straight away and kept far enough away from each other. ”

Who are the Celebrity Best Home Cook contestants?

10 celebrities are competing on the latest series of Best Home Cook.

But due to social distancing measures they won’t be living together this time.

And will have to maintain a safe distance from one another throughout the series.

Ferne McCann

Ferne is a former The Only Way is Essex star.

The Essex native, 30, says she is a natural around the kitchen and learned from her parents. Her mum has taught her plenty of vegetarian dishes, while her dad taught her the fundamentals of making a topnotch British roast dinner.

ferne mccann best home cook
Ferne is a former TOWIE star (Credit: BBC)

Ed Byrne

Ed, 48, is a stand-up comedian and regular guest on British panel television shows.

He says he hopes to impress the judges with his personality if his cooking skills falter. He’s a huge fan of chorizo, and plans to add plenty of spice to his creations.

Ed Byrne on celebrity best home cook
Ed is a stand-up comic (Credit: BBC)

Rachel Johnson

Rachel, 55, is a British journalist and from the famous Johnson family. Yes that family – she is sister to our Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The writer doesn’t appear to be much of a cook in real life, as she says her best recipe is macaroni and cheese. And she ordered a Thai takeaway when she had Nigella Lawson over for supper.

best home cook rachel johnson
Rachel is from a very famous family (Credit: BBC)

Karim Zeroual

Karim, 27, is an actor and telly presenter. He competed in 2019’s Strictly Come Dancing with Amy Dowden and he’s on the latest series of Celebs Go Dating.

The star says he hopes to have plenty of fun on the show, and hopefully inspire his young fans to get excited about cooking too. And he also says his cooking game has seriously improved from all the lockdowns of the last year.

karim on best home cook
Karim is also looking for love on Celebs Go Dating (Credit: BBC)

Ruth Madeley

Ruth Madeley is a British actress who has starred in the likes of Years & Years and The Rook. You may have also spotted her on the likes of Cold Feet and Pure.

Ruth, 33, likes to keep her food dishes simple and uncomplicated. And if all else fails, she is sure she’ll win the judges over with her sparkly personality and wit.

ruth madeley on best home cook
Ruth played Rosie Lyons in Years and Years (Credit: BBC)

Tom Read Wilson

Tom Read Wilson, 34, is best known for his role as the receptionist on Celebs Go Dating.

But the posh star is also a trained actor, and has appeared in several stage plays over the years.

As for his cooking skills, he says he can make a wonderful tiramisu but loathes anything with peanut butter.

tom best home cook celebs
Who can forget Tom on Celebs Go Dating? (Credit: BBC)

Desiree Burch

Desiree, 43, is an American comedian and television host. Over this side of the pond, you may have seen her on The Last Leg, Frankie Boyle’s New World Order and The Big Narstie Show.

The Yank says she is particularly skilled at making puddings, but has also come to love many traditional English dishes – including black pudding!

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Desiree is the only American on the series (Credit: BBC)

Gareth Thomas

Gareth Thomas CBE, 46, is a former Welsh rugby player and has served as a rugby sports pundit for several years now.

Despite his very impressive career, he doesn’t appear to be much of a home cook. He says he’s even messed up baked beans in the past, but does know how to make Glamorgan sausages.

gareth thomas on best home cook
Gareth isn’t claiming to be a top chef (Credit: BBC)

Shobna Gulati

Shobna, 54, is best known for roles of Sunita Alahan in Coronation Street and Ameena Badawi in EastEnders.

She maintains a gluten free diet, but prefers simple dishes to fancy ones. After a long day working on set she’s happy with tinned fish on toast and once had a disaster with lasagne when she poured an entire bottle of peppercorns over it.

Soap star Shobna hopes she’ll impress the judges (Credit: BBC)

Ed Balls

Ed, 53, is a retired Labour and Co-operative MP, who has transcended into a bit of a media star. He competed on Strictly in 2016 with Katya Jones and has gone on to present several documentary series for BBC Two.

The former politician is a traditionalist when it comes to his cooking style, and says his most impressive dishes are lasagna and roast beef with Yorkshire puddings.

ed balls on best home cook
Ed says his family adore his home cooking skills (Credit: BBC)

How to watch Celebrity Best Home Cook

Celebrity Best Home Cook is on BBC One and starts at 9pm on Tuesday January 26.

Alternatively past episodes can be streamed on BBC iPlayer

Will you be watching? Let us know on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.