Ed Balls on Celebrity Best Home Cook: "You can't tell Mary Berry she's wrong!"

Virgin Radio

19 Feb 2021, 13:43

Ed Balls has been celebrating this week as he was declared the winner of BBC One’s . He joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky to tell Sam Pinkham all about his win.

Ed explained the concept of the programme: “It was a cooking show, which for the first two series they had members of the public, and then they decided to get some tired old faces back on and do Celebrity Best Home Cook” he says wryly.

“We started with ten of us. Each week, we have to do a challenge set by Mary but we can come with our own recipe, then we then get given a special ingredient and we have one hour with no recipe to do something.”

“The people who didn't do well get put into the eliminator round, with 35 minutes to cook from scratch. I did a crab ravioli, a lemon meringue tart, whoever does the worst of those dishes goes out.”

He made it all the way through to the final three, before being declared the winner. “We filmed this in the middle of lockdown, we were so pleased to actually get out and get to meet other people!” he exclaimed.

Some cooking shows can be ruthlessly competitive, but Ed said “everybody wanted everybody else to do well.”

He says it was a really heartwarming show: “But the other thing was because cooking and home cooking is so much about family, everybody was bringing recipes they'd learned from their mums and dads or grandparents. There was a sort of warm vibe to it, and hopefully, it will inspire lots of mums and dads who maybe don't cook yet to have a go. Because if I can do it?”

It was clearly a very personal show. “I'm doing my lasagna, which my Mum taught me when I was eight years old. I've been cooking it for 40 years, and suddenly Mary's going to say what she thinks of it. “

“If she says, ‘I don't like your lasagna’ I'm afraid my reaction is sorry Mary, this is my Mum’s lasagna, it’s brilliant, what are you talking about” he laughs.

“Can you imagine Mary ever burning anything or getting a recipe wrong? If Gordon Brown made a mistake I’d tell him, it was my job to say to him ‘Don't do that, think, that's a mistake’. With political leaders you need people around you who tell you you're an idiot. I can’t say that to Mary Berry!”

Who knew that Ed Balls would be such a good cook.

Catch up with Celebrity Best Home Cook on BBC iPlayer.