Since its second “re-imagining” back in 2005 (remember when it was presented by Loyd Grossman? Remember when it was presented by Gary Rhodes?), MasterChef has served up a veritable smorgasbord of spin-off shows.
For starters there was the obligatory celebrity version (now relegated to a daytime slot). Then there was MasterChef: the Professionals with Michel Roux Jr. And finally the kids were let loose with the kitchen knives in Junior MasterChef.
So, where next for the franchise? I have some suggestions for desperate BBC execs looking to squeeze the last drops of jus out of MasterChef…
Octogenarian cooks create three-course meals for the dentally challenged. Expect such dishes as puréed scallops with puréed black pudding on a cauliflower purée. And soup – lots of soup.
The show’s trademark techno soundtrack is cranked up to 200bpm as the contestants knock out a five-course meal in just ten minutes. St John Ambulance are on stand-by to deal with the inevitably bloody results of high-speed chopping and whisking.
Following the show’s relentless mantra “cooking doesn’t get tougher than this” to its logical conclusion, Extreme MasterChef sees contestants preparing a meal while whitewater rafting, skydiving, leading a covert mission to bring down the Taliban and, in the final, attempting to restart a dying sun using a thermonuclear charge.
Wallace & Vomit
Each week, contestants challenge sweet-toothed MasterChef presenter Gregg Wallace to what is essentially a glorified pie-eating contest. Who can cram in the most puddings before being violently sick?
Gregg’s the Baker
The host tours the country with his giant dessertspoon, meeting local bakers and learning how to prepare their regional speciality cakes and puddings.
Batrachian MasterChef judge John “The Toad” Torode explores his strange affinity with the enigmatic amphibians, meeting a variety of species and investigating their amazing behaviour. The series ends with a spangled Torode wandering off into the wilderness after one too many licks of a cane toad.
Contestants brave the Big Black Chair to answer testing culinary questions – made even more difficult by the fact that interrogator John Humphrys is simultaneously munching his way through a dish they’ve prepared. At the end of the allotted time, if John is still eating, we’ll hear that immortal line: “I’ve started, so I’ll finish.”
Any ideas for a MasterChef spin-off? Post a comment below and let me know.
MasterChef is on BBC1 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8pm and Fridays at 8:30pm