Pete Wicks says Celebrity MaterChef turned him into “the Simon Cowell of the cooking world”

The Celebrity MasterChef contestant talks to about his experience on the BBC One show.

pete wicks masterchef

It might be John Torrode and Greg Wallace who run the rule over the Celebrity MaterChef contestants – but according to The Only Way is Essex star Pete Wicks, his appearance on the cooking show turned him into another legendary reality TV judge.


Speaking to, the contestant joked that since he finished filming for the show he’s found himself judging culinary dishes as if he was a certain music mogul.

“When you start it you do kind of look at other people’s dishes and by the end of it you start thinking you’re Simon Cowell,” he laughed.

“And I think that’s what I’ve started doing now – I’ve started going out places and thinking ‘oh dear they shouldn’t have done that’ or ‘there’s no need for that garnish there!’ I’ve turned into the Simon Cowell of the cooking world.”

Pete takes part in the fourth and final heat of this year’s series – finding himself up against tennis coach Judy Murray, broadcaster and internet personality Riyadh Khalaf, Olympic Gold Medallist and Sports Presenter Sir Matthew Pinsent and actor and comedian Crissy Rock.

And he says there was a friendly rivalry between the group of contestants – claiming that he “instantly” spotted who was going to be his toughest competition.

As soon as we walked in I was quite jovial about it and there were a couple of people who you could tell knew a lot more about cooking,” he said.

“We had Matthew Pinsent, he’s an Olympian so he was always going to be super competitive and we had a really good mixture of people. Judy Murray was super competitive and then you had Crissy who was the fun and games of our group.” 

And even if he now fancies himself as something of a culinary judge, Pete admits he was  unexpectedly nervous about presenting to John and Gregg.

He said: “I didn’t think I was going to be nervous but when you present food to them you genuinely do get nervous because you really want them to like it.

I love Gregg’s one-liners when I’m watching the show but actually if it’s about your food you take it a little bit personally – you genuinely want people to like what you’re doing!”


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