Celebrity MasterChef finalist Vicky Pattison has said the programme has been so exhausting she often felt like she had been hit by a car or done “12 rounds” with boxer Anthony Joshua.
Following six weeks of gruelling cooking challenges, the former Geordie Shore star has made it to the final along with former Olympian Greg Rutherford and retired footballer Neil “Razor” Ruddock.
Pattison, who won the 2015 series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, said that MasterChef has been more challenging than her time in the jungle, where she would have to face stomach-churning and often terrifying Bushtucker trials.
Having entered MasterChef as a cooking novice, she told the PA news agency: “Honestly I take my hats off to professional chefs and people who work in kitchens, it is super stressful.
“Nothing could have prepared me for that. I spent six weeks during filming going home every night feeling like I’d been hit by a car, I was so exhausted, so stressed out.
“I’d just get into the bath and cry into a glass of wine over a mistake I’d made, like with a red wine jus or overcooking my duck.
“It was so all-encompassing and a little bit too much pressure for me… I’m a bit too soft I think, real chefs are very hard.”
Comparing MasterChef to I’m A Celebrity, Pattison, 31, said: “When you go into the jungle, you go and do a trial for 15 minutes of intense adrenaline coursing through your veins.
“You know you’ve got to be bold and have to smash it for 15 minutes and then you can go and lie in your hammock.. but with MasterChef, you’re doing restaurant dinner services for three to five hours, so that adrenaline is coursing through your veins for that long, you’re nervous and stressed for that long.
“By the time you’re finished, you feel like you’ve been through the wringer. It’s like you’ve done 12 rounds with Anthony Joshua or something, it’s exhausting.”
Rutherford, 32, said that going into MasterChef has had a longer-lasting impact on his life compared to when he took part in Strictly Come Dancing in 2016.
The 2012 Olympic long jump champion said: “Strictly, I knew I was never going to be good at. I had zero dancing background and, like with everything I do, I really tried so hard, and (my dance partner) Natalie Lowe was incredible, she was so patient with me.
“But with the cooking, I enjoyed it so much more just in general, and it meant that I was able to progress more because I had more of a natural gift for cooking than with dancing.”
Former West Ham and Tottenham player Ruddock, 51, said that MasterChef was “definitely” more stressful than the football pitch.
“When you’re on your own cooking, you’re under pressure,” he said.
“It’s time too – you’ve got an hour to cook, that hour goes so quick, it goes so quick. I think the pressure is time.”
He added that the physical aspect of being in the show, judged by John Torode and Gregg Wallace, was tough, adding: “For some reason, you get really tearful when you’ve done your best and you’ve nailed it, and then you get good feedback, it does make you quite emotional.
“All the lads were laughing at me because I got a bit tearful the other night, I had a little tear in my eye. You don’t realise what the pressure is… when you start, it’s good fun, but then get through one round, two rounds, now it’s a competition.”
The finale of the current series of Celebrity MasterChef – which started with 20 hopeful star cooks – will see Pattison, Rutherford and Ruddock create a three-course meal for the judgment of Torode and Wallace.
Celebrity MasterChef: The Finals airs at 8.30pm on Friday on BBC One.