Call for contestants as BBC launches search for the next MasterChef

Reckon you could make it on MasterChef
Reckon you could make it on MasterChef

The BBC is on the lookout for the next amateur MasterChef champion.

Prep for series 14 of the popular cookery show is under way at Shine TV, who are now looking for applications for the 2018 incarnation.

So if you fancy being grilled by Greg Wallace and John Torode, or always feel that your pavlova could rise to the occasion, then perhaps it’s time to put your culinary skills to the test.

Applicants, who must be 18 years of age and over as of 1st October 2017, have until Friday August 4 to fill in the online form at

The producers can be contacted at MasterChef Series 14, Shine TV, 42 Gloucester Ave, London NW1 8JD or at

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The North East has had some big successes with both the amateur MasterChef and MasterChef the professionals.

Sunderland's Stacie Stewart became a national celebrity after appearing as a finalist in 2010’s MasterChef, and was soon snapped up to appear on ITV’s Food Glorious Food show.

Leon Dodd, also from Sunderland, impressed Michel Roux Jr to reach the finals of MasterChef: The Professionals in 2008, and after choosing not to head to London to follow his career, he proved a hit at a number of establishments in the North East.

And John Calton from South Shields has also gone on to great things since making his name on the professionals show in 2010, most recently winning awards for the cuisine at The Staith House in North Shields.

One of his fellow contestants in 2010 was David Coulson, from Wingate, who was then head chef at the Castle Eden Inn in Castle Eden and is now wowing customers with his cooking at Peace & Loaf in Newcastle.

So, what can you expect if you go on to win Masterchef?

Since the new-look series began, back in 2005, some of the contestants have gone on to become familiar faces outside their kitchens.

Winner of series 1, Thomasina Miers, writes a regular column for the Guardian, written and co-edited 6 cookery books, and co-founded the restaurant group Wahaca which has 25 branches.

2008’s champ James Nathan quit his career as a barrister, and is now the head chef of the St Enodoc Hotel in Cornwall, having previously worked under the likes of Michel Roux Jnr, Michael Caines, and Rick Stein.

Mat Follas was winner of MasterChef in 2009 and has since opened his first restaurant, The Wild Garlic,which is recommended in The Good Food Guide and The Michelin guide

Tim Anderson may also be a familiar name to foodies - appearing on Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube and Drinks Tube, as well as a regular on the Radio 4 food panel show The Kitchen Cabinet.

And 2014 winner Ping Coombes has since become a Malaysia Kitchen Ambassador, promoting Malaysian food around the UK and abroad.