Sinitta: 'The Masterchef judges are scarier than Simon Cowell!’

Sinitta, Masterchef (Image credit: BBC/Shine TV/Cody Burridge)

Sinitta talks to What's on TV about her performance in Celebrity Masterchef and reveals she prefers cooking for Simon Cowell to being judged on her food by John Torode and Greg Wallace!

Simon Cowell’s best mate and 1980s pop singer, Sinitta, reveals she hopes to avoid any kitchen calamities when she’s put through her culinary paces on Celebrity Masterchef…

How would you describe your cooking style? "My cooking style is simple and healthy – steamed vegetables, salads, and grilled meat, unless I’m preparing for a dinner party. Masterchef has definitely taken me out of my comfort zone!"

Were you nervous when you first walked into the Masterchef kitchen? "I did panic a little bit when I found myself in the Masterchef kitchen. It’s a very professional and serious environment. It was surreal. I found myself thinking, ‘what am I doing here?’"

Why did you say yes to the challenge? "I had said no four times before when I’ve been invited to take part because I thought I won’t be able to do it. But then I thought, actually they will teach me how to cook. I’m intelligent and learn and retain information well so I thought if I learnt well I had the potential to win. But actually when I got to the Masterchef studios I learned that isn’t how it works… They don’t teach you!"

You’re sharing the kitchen with Tommy Cannon, Donna Air, Alexis Conran (Dr Petridis in the Durrells) and vlogger Marcus Butler. How did you rate your rivals? "I thought everyone was so good! Everyone was very unique and had different ways of approaching things, but in very good and distinctive ways."

What did you make of the first challenge, the Mystery Box? "The mystery box was horrifying! When I opened my box and saw a big whole squid there and I didn’t even want to touch it let alone cook it. I was pretty traumatised! I’d never cooked squid in my life. I stood for five minutes looking at it, but then remembered I’ve eaten it in restaurants so I went for it! I knew what it should look and taste like, and I guess that’s what cooking is - replicating flavours and visions you’ve seen before."

Unfortunately your meat dish didn’t go to plan… "I thought it was sort of pink but it was cooked on the outside. I was proud of myself as my boyfriend loves pink meat – he likes steak tartare – but judges John Torode and Greg Wallace weren’t impressed!"

How did you find the experience of working in the professional kitchen? "The professional kitchen was really stressful, but exhilarating too. I loved it because we were taught how to cook the meals from scratch and how to present them. I’d do that everyday over the mystery box!"

Back in the Masterchef kitchen, how did you like being judged by John and Greg? "I was nervous about what they thought. John and Gregg are scarier than Simon Cowell. I know Simon so well he’s not intimidating to me, just funny! He’s going to love the fact I’m on Celebrity Masterchef. I’ve cooked for him lots of times - he celebrates the good meals and ignores the bad ones!"

Find out how Sinitta gets on in Celebrity Masterchef when the new series starts on BBC1 on Wednesday 22nd June.

Other famous faces taking part in Celebrity Masterchef this year include singer Jimmy Osmond, EastEnders stars Sid Owen and Laila Morse, Shameless actress Tina Malone, TOWIE’s Amy Childs, Paralympics champion swimmer Liz Johnson, and Olympic heavyweight boxer Audley Harrison.

Elaine Reilly
Writer for TV Times, What’s On TV, TV & Satellite Week and What To Watch

With twenty years of experience as an entertainment journalist, Elaine writes for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and covering a variety of programs from gardening and wildlife to documentaries and drama.


As well as active involvement in the WTW family’s social media accounts, she has been known to get chatty on the red carpet and wander into the odd podcast. 

After a day of previewing TV, writing about TV and interviewing TV stars, Elaine likes nothing than to relax… by watching TV.