Tricia Penrose competed in Celebrity MasterChef, Britain’s toughest cooking competition, during July 2010.

 

Although the pictures show Tricia as looking the part, the terrified Heartbeat star, who describes herself as a ‘mediocre’ cook, tried to pull out of the show but was told it was too late. "So I pulled the pans out and started practising," she grins. "Soups, sauces – I made the lot and tried them out on my friends and husband, Mark, who loved them. I started to get too big for my boots and thought, 'Yeah, I can go all the way and win this! I was up for the challenge and believe me, it was one!"

Judges Gregg Wallace and John Torode were once again at the helm. "They interviewed me whilst I was trying to cook chicken for the Invention Test and I kept thinking, 'Go away! I haven’t time for this, I need to crack on,'" she giggles.

 

Unfortunately, it turned into a kitchen disaster, "John and Gregg said my presentation was horrendous. I just dollop food on a plate," she sighs. "And I served them raw liver. I was so upset I burst into tears! But I learnt a lot being on the show: like presentation and seasoning – some dill in fishcakes makes all the difference. Mainly though, I learnt not to get in a tizz like I used to and just enjoy cooking, preferably with a glass of wine in hand!"

“Since going on MasterChef I’ve really enjoyed being in the kitchen and feel it’s become the heart of our home. Now I put time and effort into cooking instead of opening a packet. Homemade burgers, fishcakes, sauces, soups – I’ve got so much more confidence and cook all Jake and Freddy’s meals from scratch. Mark has a meal waiting on the table when he gets home from work. He’s chuffed to bits and calls me his little chef!"

Tricia’s newfound love of cooking and healthy eating has also seen the actress lose two stone, dropping from a size 14 to a size ten.