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Church tea-parties have prepared me for Celebrity MasterChef - Rev Richard Coles

Published 21/06/2016

Richard Coles, who is among the eclectic mix of stars set to turn up the heat on Celebrity MasterChef (BBC/PA)
Richard Coles, who is among the eclectic mix of stars set to turn up the heat on Celebrity MasterChef (BBC/PA)

Reverend Richard Coles has joked that church catering wars have prepared him for the culinary battles of Celebrity MasterChef.

The Communard-turned-vicar will be trying to impress judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace in the upcoming 11th series of the BBC show.

Writing in the Radio Times, Coles said "food as sport is nothing new" to him.

"To a vicar, especially, church catering has represented the conduct of war by other means for many years," he said.

"I remember in one parish a terrible row over the ideal size of mince pies, and in another two great ladies dashing trays of pancakes to the vicarage floor in a controversy over whether to roll or to fold.

"But the real arena for food combat is television."

Coles, 54, said he has turned to kitchen gadgets to try to improve his cuisine - with dubious results.

"A whirring food processor, a fine-mesh chinois for straining limp custard and grainy gravy, and a battery of balloon whisks," he said.

"I can't say they have made my cooking any better, but I've put on half a stone trying the results."

The vicar admitted that even his own mother does not believe that he stands a chance of winning the show, telling him: "You'll be out in the first round."

Other celebrities testing out their cooking skills in the new series of Celebrity MasterChef include singer Jimmy Osmond, Strictly pro Gleb Savchenko and The Only Way Is Essex's Amy Childs.

:: This week's Radio Times is on sale on Tuesday, June 21.

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