Rita Simons on problems with Celeb MasterChef’s John and Gregg ‘Leave me alone’

Celebrity MasterChef: John react to Su Pollard's chicken

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Celebrity MasterChef returned to BBC One with a brand new series on Monday night (August 9). Hosts John Torode and Gregg Wallace welcomed Su Pollard, Rita Simons, Duncan James, Bez and Munya Chawawa onto the show for the first episode of the season. In a recent interview celebrity contestant Rita spoke out about her experience on the show, sharing her true thoughts on judges John and Gregg.

Former EastEnders actress Rita impressed the judges on Monday’s show with her dish of spicy prawns served with chilli rice and lime.

Her performance in the cooking challenges on the show earned her a place in the next round.

However, Rita has recently opened up about her time filming the show, giving fans insight into what it was really like behind the scenes.

Chatting to presenter Christine Lampard on ITV’s Lorraine, the actress revealed why she took part in the popular cooking competition.

When Christine referred to Rita as “the rice queen” a name she earned for her performance on Celebrity Masterchef, the actress confessed she’s not watched the show back yet.

She admitted: “I haven’t seen any of that and I kind of forgot because it was way back in January and I made a lot of rice.”

Christine laughed and said: “Why not? If you can master something just do it.

“I don’t know why you put yourself through this Rita, it’s one of the most stressful shows to watch,” the presenter remarked.

Rita agreed: “Can I tell you, I don’t know why either! But, it was lockdown and theatres were shut.

“I’ve been asked to do MasterChef a few times before and I’ve never had the time or the chance to.

“We were all sat around doing nothing, so I was like ‘do you know what? I’ll do it’. It was terrifying,” she added.

Christine inquired more about what it’s really like to be on the cooking show, asking how Rita felt working under the watchful eyes of judges John and Gregg.

She asked: “What are they like when you’re actually in the kitchen with them?

“Do they have moments when the softness comes through? Or is it all terribly professional?”

Rita replied: “There’s moments but they’re very few and far between and there’s four cameras on you and it’s just so intense.

“You know, you’ve only got like an hour and 10 to make whatever dish and they’re on you and they’re asking.

“I’m very much if I’m cooking leave me alone. I can’t talk and so there was a lot of that.

“But, there was a few little moments of softness especially from Gregg who’s actually lovely,” the actress revealed.

However, she made it clear that Gregg’s co-star wasn’t as soft, saying: “John’s a harder nut to crack!”

Celebrity MasterChef continues tonight at 9pm on BBC One.

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