Emma Kennedy has won the 2012 series of Celebrity Masterchef, triumphing over fellow contestants Michael Underwood and Danny Mills in a closely-fought final. The 45-year-old actress and author was named champion following a six-week contest which saw 16 famous contestants attempt to show off their culinary skills. And she admitted she was thrilled at her victory. "This is the first trophy I've ever won and what a trophy to win," she said, "there's been blood, sweat and burns that have gone into this. It ranks up there in one of the all-time life achievements - wow, wow wow. "My mother is going to scream for about three months without stopping - we're going to have to sedate her," Emma joked. The challenges of the final week included cooking for the cast of BBC One's New Tricks, preparing a meal for war veterans at Bletchley Park and whipping up a Michelin standard meal for a team of top chefs. The finalists also cooked for judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace - and Emma triumphed with a final menu of a pea, mint and ricotta ravioli with pancetta butter and pea shoots and pan fried turbot topped with samphire with vegetable filled leek cannelloni, crushed roast potatoes and a beurre blanc sauce. Her winning dessert was Ile Flottante - poached meringue in creme anglaise with almond praline topping and short bread biscuits. "Emma has propelled herself to absolute greatness through sheer tenacity - the skill, the touch, the finesse, the flavours!" John Torode said, while Gregg described her cooking skills as "unbelievable". The actress praised the programme for allowing her to perfect her culinary skills, saying, "One of the greatest acts of love anyone can do is cook for the people they care about. "MasterChef has given me skills for life and for that alone I owe John and Gregg my eternal thanks."
Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.
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