Cooking with the Stars on ITV – who are the celebrities taking part?

A brand new celebrity cooking contest pairs famous faces with well-known professional chefs who hope to mentor them to culinary excellence.

By Katie Archer Published: 26 May 2021 - 4.15pm
Shirley Ballas

MasterChef meets Strictly Come Dancing in this celebrity contest mash-up that aims to create delicious dishes from famous pairings.

Cooking with the Stars sees celebrity amateur cooks paired with professional chefs who will coach them in an intensive kitchen masterclass to become restaurant-level cooks.

The stakes are high, as each week the bottom two celebrities will have to fight for their place in the contest by taking on the cook-off without their mentor's help – and as the professional chefs will judge the dishes blind, their greatest supporter could end up being the person to vote them out.

Here’s who’s taking part in the series.

Who are the Cooking with the Stars celebrities?

Griff Rhys Jones

Griff Rhys Jones Getty

Comedian, writer and actor Griff Rhys Jones, 67, is best known for his shows Alas Smith and Jones, Not the Nine O’Clock News, and Three Men in a Boat.

We’re expecting to see him take inspiration from his Welsh roots for his cooking style.

Shirley Ballas

Shirley Ballas Getty

Strictly’s head judge Shirley Ballas, 60, turns the tables to become a contestant, where she’ll be competing with some of the dancing show’s former celebrity hoofers.

How will Shirley take to being judged for her own efforts, and will her cooking be as elegant as her dancing?

Naughty Boy

Naughty Boy Getty

Award-winning producer and songwriter Naughty Boy, 36, will be heading out of the studio and into the kitchen.

He’s used to combining musical elements perfectly in his day job, but we’ll have to find out whether he can match ingredients with the same skill.

Denise Van Outen

Denise Van Outen Getty

TV presenter and theatre star Denise Van Outen, 46, began her career at The Big Breakfast – will the first meal of the day turn out to be her speciality in the kitchen?

Van Outen is no stranger to TV contests, having been runner-up in Strictly Come Dancing 2012 and competing in Dancing On Ice and The Celebrity Circle earlier this year.

Catherine Tyldesley

Catherine Tyldesley Getty

Former Coronation Street star Catherine Tyldesley, 37, was a popular contestant on Strictly Come Dancing in 2019.

Many viewers felt she bowed out of the contest too soon, so hopefully she’ll stay the full course this time.

Harry Judd

Harry Judd Getty

McFly drummer Harry Judd, 35, has also turned his hand to dancing, winning Strictly in 2011, and fitness by publishing a keep fit manual in 2017.

Let’s see whether Judd’s talents extend to the kitchen, and if he has a few healthy recipes up his sleeve.

Johnny Vegas

Johnny Vegas Getty

Comedian and actor Johnny Vegas, 50, had a starring role in comedy series Benidorm, is a regular panellist on QI and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, and has appeared in Gold’s spoof murder mystery specials Dial M for Middlesborough and Murder on the Blackpool Express.

Vegas has already tried his hand at a cooking contest before as a contestant in The Great Celebrity Bake Off.

AJ Odudu

AJ Odudu Getty

TV presenter AJ Odudu, 33, is best known as a backstage presenter at The Voice UK and The Voice Kids, and also worked with Emma Willis and Rylan Clark-Neal on Big Brother’s Bit on the Side.

She recently took part in Celebrity SAS, so a cooking contest has to be easier than that.

Who are the Cooking with the Stars chefs?

Rosemary Shrager

Rosemary Shrager Getty

British chef Rosemary Shrager, 70, has appeared as the cooking teacher on reality show Ladette to Lady, a judge on celebrity cooking contest Soapstar Superchef, and was a contestant in I’m A Celebrity 2012.

Nisha Katona

Former child protection barrister Nisha Katona, 49, founded Mowgli Street Food restaurants and regularly appears as a TV chef.

Joseph Denison Carey

London chef Joseph Denison Carey will be best known to viewers as a regular cook on This Morning, where he appears alongside old pal Holly Willoughby.

Mark Sargeant

Chef and restauranteur Mark Sargeant, 47, has made regular TV appearances on cookery shows including Saturday Kitchen and Beat the Chef.

Jack Stein

Young chef Jack Stein comes from great cooking stock as the son of seafood legend and TV chef, Rick Stein.

Judy Joo

Judy Joo Getty

Former banker Judy Joo, 46, is a Korean-American chef who has opened restaurants in the UK and starred in Iron Chefs UK as well as various Food Network shows.

Tristan Welch

Tristan Welch has worked his way up the food chain in some of the UK’s most famous restaurants, including Le Gavroche, Launceston Place, and is currently head chef at Parker’s Tavern. He won a Gordon Ramsay Scholarship early in his career and has taken part in The Great British Menu.

Francesco Mazzei

Italian chef Francesco Mazzei, 47, is one of the most respected chefs working in the UK and is recognisable from appearances on Saturday Kitchen and Celebrity MasterChef.

Who is hosting Cooking with the Stars?

Emma Willis Getty

The celebrities and chefs are in the capable of with presenting duo Emma Willis and Tom Allen.

Willis, 45, is known for hosting The Voice UK, The Circle, Big Brother, their celebrity spin-offs, and midwifery documentary Delivering Babies.

Comedian Allen, 37, recently took over as host of The Great British Bake Off: The Professionals and Bake Off spin-off show An Extra Slice, and has also taken part in Celebrity Bake Off.