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Celebrity Best Cook 2021 - release date, celebs, judges and more

Celebrity Best Home Cook
(Image credit: BBC/KEO Films/Nicky Johnston)

Celebrity Best Cook 2021 is hosted by Claudia Winkleman

Celebrity Best Cook 2021 sees Strictly favourite Claudia Winkleman (opens in new tab) front a celeb version of the series.

Ten stars will battle it out to prove they are the ultimate home-cook - who can impress the judges?

Celebrity Best Cook 2021 release date

The new series will start on BBC1 at 9pm on Tuesday 26th January.

Who’re the celebs taking part?

Reality TV star Ferne McCann; former Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls; Years And Years actor Ruth Madeley; Celebs Go Dating’s Tom Read Wilson; Coronation Street’s Shobna Gulati; Strictly contestant Karim Zeroual; journalist and presenter Rachel Johnson; comedian and presenter Ed Byrne; comedian Desiree Burch and former Welsh rugby captain Gareth Thomas.

Ed Balls on Celebrity Best Home Cook

Could Ed pull off a lasagne coup on Celebrity Best Home Cook?

Ed Balls is likely to be making his famous lasagne dish. Amazingly, “lasagne king” Ed was once accused of cooking up a political plot by inviting a load of political colleagues around to his house to enjoy his favourite dish. The papers reckoned while they were there they were also scheming!

MORE: How to watch The Pembrokeshire Murders online anywhere in the world (opens in new tab)

Who are the judges?

Celebrity Best Home Cook judge Mary Berry

Mary Berry makes sure everything is up to scratch! (credit: BBC/Keo Films)

Mary Berry, Chris Bavin and Angela Hartnett are on judging duties.

Mary has this piece of advice for the celebs: “Cook from the heart. Keep an eye on the time as if you don’t finish there is nothing for us judge.”

Asked what the viewers can expect, Mary adds: “Lots of surprises, enthusiastic celebrities with good cooking skills and they gain experience getting better week by week.”

Angela also has a tip for the stars: “Don’t try and be too clever or overcomplicate things. Cook what you know.”

Chris adds: "I think it’s very simple; whatever you cook, make it great and don’t try to complicate things or make something you wouldn’t ordinarily do."

What are the tasks?

During each episode the stars will face two rounds: Mary’s Ultimate challenge. This is where they serve up their tried and tested dishes for special occasions. And then there’s Chris’s Rustle Up challenge, where our celebs have to think on their feet. They’re each given one star ingregient and must work out how to make it shine.

Struggling stars will then compete in Angela’s Eliminator round. They must follow one of her recipes to a tee as they go head to head.

Celebrity Best Cook 2021 starts on BBC1 on Tuesday January 26th at 9pm.

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.


Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years on TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 


David started out as a writer on TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.


Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!