Masterchef - A love/hate affair with the gruesome twosome of the BBC kitchen

John Torode and Gregg Wallace returned with a new series of the BBC cookery show Masterchef
John Torode and Gregg Wallace returned with a new series of the BBC cookery show Masterchef
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I have a love/hate relationship with Masterchef (BBC1, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays), which was back this week, for an incredible 15th season.

The thing is I love the contestants, with their shaky hands, and their desire to open a deli/cafe by the seaside and their slightly raw chicken. I love their endeavour and creativity, and the skill they show, even at the early stages.

But I hate Gregg Wallace and John Torode, who have become self-parodies, what with all Gregg’s grunts and groans, his ‘waheys’ and ‘phwoars’, the weird facial expressions and vocal tics – all tomatoes are sweet, citrus always zings, basil is always ‘almost metallic’.

And then there is the Torode pause – that moment when judge John Torode, lifts a fully-laden fork two inches from his mouth, then pauses to inspect it, as if it’s the first time he’s ever seen food, before opening his mouth wide and swallowing the forkful whole. You almost expect a child’s storybook ‘chomp’ on the soundtrack.

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These days, you can measure how ridiculous certain people have become by the amount of gifs they generate to adorn tweets and Facebook posts, and believe me, there are thousands of Wallace and Torode, gurning and crying and eating and shouting.

The problem is, these two know they are the stars but they’re taking up too much screen time. This week, contestants made wonderful dishes, including Thai ‘son-in-law’ eggs, citrus tart with sorbet that made my mouth water and scallops with Guernsey ‘dust’ (don’t ask).

By rights, drool should be running down your chin and you should be running to the kitchen to make your own chocolate soil, or smearing aubergine all over a plate.

Unfortunately, because of the gruesome twosome, you’re left with a bad taste in your mouth.

Catastrophe (Channel 4, Mondays, 10pm) ended with an episode that was bleak, uplifting, sad, hilarious, and disturbing, while being recognisable to anyone in a long-term relationship.

Famous and Fighting Crime (Channel 4, Mondays, 9pm) saw celebs on the beat in Peterborough, and as much as anything, showed how male and female approaches to policing can work together.