Entertainment & Arts

Celebrity MasterChef gets evening slot

Jenny Eclair, Gareth Gates and Jamie Theakston
Image caption Eclair (l), Gates and Theakston (r) are among this year's celebrities

The 2012 edition of the BBC's Celebrity MasterChef will be shown in the evening following complaints from viewers about its daytime TV scheduling last year.

A BBC spokewoman said the show would be broadcast "in the popular early evening slot of 18:30 on BBC Two".

Fans reacted angrily to a change last year which saw programmes screened at 14:15 during the week, with catch-up shows on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Pop Idol runner-up Gareth Gates is one of this year's 16 star competitors.

Image caption John Torode and Gregg Wallace return to host the show's seventh edition

Others include radio presenter Jamie Theakston, former Neighbours star Anne Charleston, the comedienne Jenny Eclair and Cheryl Baker of Bucks Fizz fame.

EastEnders actor George Layton, former footballer Danny Mills and ex-Blue Peter host Zoe Salman will also be testing their culinary skills as part of the six-week series.

John Torode and Gregg Wallace will again host the programme, which will feature appearances from past Celebrity MasterChef winners.

A start date has not yet been announced.

Former England rugby captain Phil Vickery was crowned the winner of the 2011 series, beating fellow finalists Kirsty Wark and Nick Pickard.

The programme's viewing figures slumped after it moved to daytime on BBC One, despite the show being the most-watched terrestrial TV programme in its timeslot.

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