Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay will return to MasterChef Australia during the 2020 all-star season as a guest judge.
And he claims the new judges are definitely feeling the heat following the departure of long-running hosts Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston and George Calombaris last year.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph on Sunday, the British restaurateur and TV personality said the new line-up were almost under as much pressure as the competing stars.
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‘This show is huge outside of Australia’: Gordon Ramsay claims Channel Ten’s new MasterChef judges are feeling the pressure ahead of their debut on popular cooking series
MasterChef Australia: Back To Win will see 24 contests from past seasons of the show return to the kitchen in a bid to win a cash prize of $250,000
Ramsay, who is the judge on the US version of the program, previously appeared on MasterChef Australia as a guest judge in 2018.
‘I look at how this show travels and it’s huge outside of Australia, and I mean really huge. It is the unsung hero of the MasterChef phenomenon,’ Ramsay said of the success the Australian version has had over the past 10 years globally.
Gary, Matt and George were replaced last year by Andy Allen, Jock Zonfrillo and Melissa Leong.
Are they ready to take over the legacy? Ramsay spoke highly of the Australian version’s global success over the past 10 years, claiming it was ‘the unsung hero of the MasterChef phenomenon’. Pictured: MasterChef Australia’s new judges Andy Allen, Melissa Leong, and Jock Zonfrillo
While many Australian reality TV programs have suspended their productions due to the outbreak of coronavirus, MasterChef Australia has pressed forward with filming ahead of its advertised April 13 premiere.
Returning star Poh Ling Yeow, who was runner-up on the cooking show’s debut season, confirmed the show was only ‘halfway through filming’ and were taking government COVID-19 regulations very seriously on set
Speaking to Hit105’s Stav, Abby and Matt last month, Poh said Channel 10 had no plans to shut down, or postpone, production of the ratings hit.
‘It’s going ahead following all the government regulations for the virus,’ she said.
‘We’re following all the government regulations’: Poh Ling Yeow (pictured) confirmed MasterChef Australia had adapted to coronavirus rules and were continuing filming the 2020 season in Melbourne during a radio interview last month
‘It’s halfway through filming’: The celebrity cook said Channel 10 were ‘pushing ahead’ and felt they were in a ‘privileged position’ due to filming the series without a live audience
Remember her? Returning star Poh Ling Yeow was the runner-up on the cooking show’s debut season in 2009 (pictured)
International judges Nigella Lawson and Heston Blumenthal have had to cancel their scheduled appearances, while outdoor challenges with crowds have been shelved.
One drawcard for the program, however, is having filmed segments in advance with Gordon Ramsay, Curtis Stone and American pop star Katy Perry.
Former MasterChef contestant and new judge Andy Allen, 31, who recently closed his Three Blue Ducks chain as a result of coronavirus, told The Daily Telegraph that while the pandemic is ‘a dire situation’, the ‘vibe on set is really positive’.
Changes: The Sunday Telegraph reported how not only has Nigella Lawson (centre) bowed out of her scheduled appearance, planned travel and shooting outdoors has been cancelled. Nigella is pictured with former judges George Calombaris (left) and Matt Preston (right)
Star appeal: One drawcard for the program, however, is having filmed segments in advance with Gordon Ramsay, Curtis Stone and American pop star Katy Perry (pictured)
He previously told KIIS FM’s The Kyle and Jackie O radio show, that the new judges were told by producers to ‘just be themselves,’ after replacing old hosts, Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston and George Calombaris.
‘They didn’t want us to step into Matt, George or Gary’s role, they were just [like], “we chose you because we want you to be you”.’
Last year, Gary, Matt and George’s contracts were not renewed after 11 seasons of hosting the show.
MasterChef – Back To Win premieres Monday, April 13 at 7.30pm on Channel 10
‘They don’t want us to step into their role’: Andy said they don’t have to worry about acting like their predecessors. Pictured from left to right is Gary, Matt and George