Choir conductor Karen Gibson enters the Celebrity MasterChef challenge this evening, along with Hockey player Sam Quek, Drag Race UK star Baga Chipz, presenter Dominic Littlewood, and Quadrophenia actor Phil Daniels.
Although she manages to impress the judges with her expertise with fish dishes, the Kingdom Choir conductor admits she was pretty nervous in the kitchen, and it has a lot to do with one particular contestant.
“It was quite scary. I don’t know how much I understood that at the time but I think I was a little bit scared and out of comfort zone,” she told RadioTimes.com.
She continued: “I think you get used to it by the end of the day, but then you go back the next day and it will be another challenge. It was those challenges when we had to do it on our own in the studio and you’re against the clock and you’ve got the judges walking around and then you’ve got the cameras zooming into what you’re doing. That was stressful.”
As well as the pressure of the ticking clock and the judge’s watchful eyes, Karen says there was one contestant who kept her on her toes: England Hockey star Sam Quek.
When asked who she thought was her biggest competition, she said: “I would say Sam Quek. She has an Asian background and she’s very competent and confident. I think her brother has a restaurant as well, so she had a pretty good cooking background.”
Another contestant Karen worried about was actor Phil, who she described as a “dark horse”.
She continued: “The one who turned out to be a bit of a dark horse is Phil Daniels. He would really practice when he went home and really get things down.”
Apart from feeling the pressure, Karen – who many may recognise for conducting the choir at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s 2018 wedding – says the experience has inspired her to do more cooking and she’s already got a long list of requests from friends to cook dinner for them.
“I have got the world of requests to cook so in a way it has worked. I won’t be staying out of the kitchen.”
Maybe she’ll have the Prince and the Duchess round for dinner. Don’t forget our invite, Karen!
Celebrity MasterChef is on Wednesday July 8th at 9pm and continues on Thursday and Friday at 7:30pm on BBC One. To see what else is on, have a look at our TV Guide.