Chef John Torode reveals the big secret behind the success of MasterChef UK

There are not many shows that can last 16 seasons and still dominate the ratings like MasterChef UK.

But the competitive cooking show has gone from strength to strength during its time on air, and host and judge John Torode believes he knows exactly why the show is as successful as it is. 

Each episode, home cooks compete against each other in a knock-out competition with different tests and challenges to impress chef John and food expert Gregg Wallace.

Related: Gregg Wallace's amazing makeover!

And it's this simple format which keeps audiences coming back for more, believes John. 

"I think the show feels it doesn't have to be anything more than it is," said John. "In an age where everyone expects more and more, we are just a great, simple cooking show at our heart.

"We don't have stylists to make Gregg and I look fancy and there's no hair and make-up artist. It's literally us, the contestants, three camera guys and three sound technicians and off we go. We say cook and they create meals!"

But after so many years working on the show and tasting so many dishes, can John can predict who will win the show each year? Especially as he's watching the contestants so closely from day one? 

"Um, no," says John. "You might think that but often Gregg and I turn to each other and think we both know who the winner is after the first few cooks, and then you can guarantee the next week he or she will be sent home! We are famous for getting it wrong!"


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"We just don't know from one challenge to the next, what a contestant will produce."

But he does think that the winners year after year do have one common trait to their cooking,

"They cook what they love and what they know," he says. "The challenge may include a style of food that they have never seen before but they will always add a dash of their own signature style - and that is what makes a true winner."

And in Season 16, John thinks Australian audiences will be really impressed with the standard of cooking. 

"I learned a few things along the way," he laughs. "And I have now been a chef for 38 years!"

MasterChef UK, weeknights, 8.30pm, LifeStyle Food. 

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