Mary Berry and Claudia Winkleman lead search for Britain's Best Cook on BBC1

Mary Berry and Claudia Winkleman
(Image credit: SilverHub/REX/Shutterstock)

The BBC has announced a new cookery competition which may go some way to replacing the hole left by Bake Off's move to Channel 4

Mary Berry and Claudia Winkleman will lead the search for Britain's Best Cook in a new BBC1 cookery competition.

This series will test the real-life expertise of home cooks and will celebrate the food people make for their loved ones every single day. Mary will act as judge, as she did for The Great British Bake Off before its move to Channel 4.

Mary said: “I am never more at home than when I have my judging hat on. This series is going to encourage proper home cooking, which I have always championed and I cannot wait to start. Claudia, for me, is the icing on the cake.”

Host Claudia said: “I am over the moon to be part of this show. Am slightly obsessed with Mary so will follow her around with my own moussaka for most of the filming. Apologies in advance.”

Britain's Best Cook will consist of eight episodes and the 10 contestants will need to demonstrate skill under pressure and individual flair, as they’re asked to serve the most perfect version of dishes that define modern British home cooking.

The judges will be looking for dishes redefine excellence, whether it’s roast beef with the perfect roast potatoes, an ingenious twist on chicken curry or an irresistible chocolate pudding.

Each challenge will reveal new tips and techniques as the competing cooks battle to prove that they have the skills and repertoire, technical ability, resourcefulness and creativity to get through to the final and be crowned Britain’s Best Cook.

A search for a second judge to join Mary Berry is underway.

No word yet on when Britain's Best Cook will transmit.

Patrick McLennan

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.