Riyadh Khalaf hardly slept before Celebrity MasterChef heat: “It felt like I was getting married the next day”

The YouTuber and author fills RadioTimes.com in on his MasterChef experience.

riyad khalaf masterchef

Appearing on Celebrity MasterChef is always bound to be a stressful experience – and according to broadcaster and author Riyadh Khalaf, he was so nervous about his heat that he could hardly sleep.

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Speaking to RadioTimes.com the YouTuber claimed that he only got about two hours of shut eye before his first challenge, such were the extent of his nerves.

“It felt like I was getting married the next day or was being sentenced to be executed the next day,” he said. “It was tough!”

For Riyadh, competing on the show was something of a dream come true – he’s been a MasterChef fan since he was 14-years-old and has long been an admirer or hosts John Torode and Gregg Wallace.

And he claimed that meeting the judging duo was every bit as great as he’d hoped, even if their feedback can occasionally be harsh.

“They say don’t meet your heroes, but they were absolutely wonderful,” he said. “It’s always intimidating even when they’re nice because you’re on MasterChef, but I think the lovely thing about this show is there’s not ever any moments where they’re actively trying to make you feel bad or feel stupid.

“It’s tonnes of encouragement mixed in with a load of honesty. And the whole thing is when you get bad feedback over what will be a bad dish, what they want to see is… do you take what they’ve told you into account and then come back with something better?”

Riyadh claims that he learnt a lot from his experience on the show – including spending time in a professional kitchen, learning the importance of constantly tasting throughout the cooking process and beginning to view cooking as a treat rather than a chore.

And he describes the feeling of making a dish under the pressure as a real buzz, claiming: “There’s nothing like finishing a dish and looking at it and going: ‘that’s great and I can’t believe I created that.'”

The timing was also perfect – filming on the show took place before the pandemic hit, and Riyadh claims that having the completed show to look forward to has helped keep him going.

He said: “We filmed this before COVID and it’s been a really horrible and tough few months for all of us, but I’ve had this joy of having this little gorgeous nugget of joy in the horizon that’s going to come up, and that’s been kind of motivating me, because I knew that at the end of it celebrity MasterChef was going to air!”

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Celebrity MasterChef continues Wednesday 22nd July at 9pm on BBC One and is available on BBC iPlayer – find out what else to watch with our TV Guide