Celebrity MasterChef winner Riyadh Khalaf says he “almost slipped up” before his victory

The Celebrity MasterChef 2020 winner struggled to keep his victory a secret.

Riyadh Khalaf Celebrity MasterChef

Viewers watched as YouTube star Riyadh Khalaf was crowned the 2020 Celebrity MasterChef winner.

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After five weeks, and competing against 19 other celebs in theCelebrity MasterChef line-up, the blogger managed to come out on top as he impressed judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace one last time.

The show was filmed months ago in March, so Riyadh had to keep pretty tight-lipped about the results – something he tells RadioTimes.com he struggled with, admitting he almost “slipped” up.

“I didn’t fully slip up, but I came close,” he revealed during our Zoom call, just a day after his win.

“I have a couple of friends who are investigative journalists and they used their power on me to try and lure it out by using really clever questioning. I managed to keep it in. I think they knew by my fear and hesitation. I literally walked away from them.”

Now, the news is out, a huge strain has been lifted off his shoulders, with Riyadh saying: “It’s so nice to not tell the lie anymore.”

So what’s it like being the reigning champ?

“It feels like nothing I’ve never felt before. It’s Pride but it’s like Pride supercharged. I’ve felt a feeling like this before when I’ve made programmes and radio shows and I’m proud of them and then there’s something like this!” he said.

“I know deep down I was running on fumes. I gave it everything. I had nothing more to give.  I didn’t take this as a joke, but I did go in wanting to have a real laugh, and wanting to make friends and have fun and also do well.”

Despite winning the competition, Riyadh wasn’t convinced he’d make it to the end of the competition and often thought he was a “goner”.

He said: “I absolutely thought I was a goner every single round and that’s not me being Mr Humble or modest. I honestly believe like three times in the competition that was it, and I’d have to just find a way to cope. ”

The fear got so bad, Riyadh called his boyfriend, mum and therapist just incase he was knocked out and wouldn’t know how to handle it.

riyadh khalaf, celebrity masterchef
Celebrity MasterChef winner
BBC

“There was one point I called my boyfriend after I got out of the studio and we were waiting for the results and I said to him, ‘This is it baby, I’m going to need you to look after me tonight.”’ I called my mother and I emailed my therapist and I said, ‘I need all of you as well.’ Thankfully I wasn’t kicked out and I lived to fight another day,” he explained.

“The thing with this show is that you start off going, ‘This is great and I got through the first round, we’ll see what happens.’ But every time you get through, a sort of monster starts to grow inside of you and you get this competitive streak and you’re just like, ‘I will do anything to win!'”

Clearly it paid off, and Riyadh is now hoping to expand his career in cooking. And he’s even in talks with production companies.

Speaking of his future plans, he said: “I would love to do more food-related stuff on TV – something that’s dangerous and breaking boundaries and a little bit out there. I’ve got a couple of ideas I have down on paper and I’ve been chatting to production companies and developing them. Maybe a cook book and a new podcast coming out next year!”

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Celebrity Masterchef is available to watch on catch up on BBC iPlayer. If you’re looking for more to watch check out our TV guide.