A Celebrity Masterchef on the chopping block

This judge is hard to impress

The world has gone cooking mad.  Turn on your TV, irrespective of where you are and you will find Masterchef, Hell’s Kitchen, Come Dine With Me and other programmes that simply make us mere mortals feel inferior in the kitchen department.  One of the most popular shows on BBC at the moment is Celebrity Masterchef where 20 celebrities battle to be crowned the winner, taking the crown from Jayne Middlemiss.  Previous winners have included Matt Dawson, Nadia Sawalha and Liz McClarnon.  Over the course of the past four weeks we have seen the 20 being reduced down to just 3 who will compete for the crown.  One of those was Christine Hamilton, a long time fan of our very blog.

Both little Fullers want to be writers when they grow up, doing something better than their old Dad.  So to kick them off on their chosen career path we popped in to a perfect English garden for some afternoon tea and some home made Brownies so that the girls could ask some questions of a new national cooking star.

Did you have to audition to go on Masterchef or do you get asked?
In the normal Masterchef programme you have to apply, and if successful you are invited to an audition (similar to the X-Factor or Britain’s Got Talent).  For the celebrity version there are two ways to get on.  A lot of “celebrities” have agents and they will ring the TV shows direct and ask if their clients can be on.  I don’t have an agent but the show approached me – which was great.

How many TV Shows have you appeared in?
I’ve done lots of programmes but most people remember me from the first ever series of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.  I appeared in that in 2002 with Tony Blackburn, Nigel Benn, Darren Day, Uri Geller, Nell McAndrew, Rhona Cameron and Tara Palmer-Tompkinson.  I was delighted to finish third.  I used to have my own show (The Christine Hamilton Show) on BBC Choice as well as a fun food and travel show called Destination Lunch.  I’ve also been on Have I Got News For You, The Weakest Link (Neil actually won that!), Hole in the Wall, Mastermind and we did “When Louis (Theroux) Met the Hamiltons.  Lot more but that is enough to be getting on with!

Do you cook the type of food we have seen you prepare on Masterchef at home for Neil?
“She just opens a tin” – Neil….Gosh that is so unfair of him and completely untrue – I don’t think I own a tin opener.  No I don’t do complicated things.  I’ve always cooked plain and simple home cooked food.  I like to use local produce and we grow our own vegetables but I am not a slave to the oven.  I started cooking little things when I was about 10.

When you were younger, what did you want to be?
When I was very young I wanted to be a farmer’s wife.  I loved the whole idea of looking after the animals.  But then airline travel really took off and when I was a young teenager it seemed very glamourous to be an Air Stewardess.  I then went to university, became interested in politics and wanted to be an MP myself.

What is the best thing about being a celebrity?
Most of the time it is lots of fun – you get to meet people who you would never normally meet, and often you are paid for having fun in the guise of work.

And the worst?
You have to be prepared always to be in the public eye, so you have to remember to take your trolley back to the right place in the supermarket, not pick your nose or put too many empty bottles in the recycling bank!

We love watching I’m A Celebrity for the horrible trials the contestants are made to do.  What was the worst one you had to do?
Swimming in a river to retrieve the stars that gave us dinners.  .  It was very dark water and I had no idea what was in there. The other one I  had to do was chasing smelly pigs around a very muddy farmyard which was actually quite fun.

We are very big football fans and love watching it.  Do you like football?
Not really.  I will watch a game on TV with everyone else, such as during the World Cup and get passionately behind England, but you wont find me planning my social life around games like some people (I think that is aimed at Daddy).  We have been to Old Trafford and Maine Road a few times in the past, and we have an invite to go to Stamford Bridge at some point.  I think I have been put off going to watch West Ham by your Daddy and my friend Iain Dale – they don’t seem to be very good!

Many thanks to Christine for taking a break from the kitchen to talk to us.  We will be rooting for her in the finals in early August.

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