Celebrity MasterChef spoilers follow.
Celebrity MasterChef star Mica Ven, aka Big Meesh, has revealed the "biggest challenge" she faced from participating in the show.
Viewers will see the former Gogglebox star compete in the semi-finals tonight (August 29), having impressed judges Greg Wallace and John Torode with her cuisine in the quarter-finals and early heats.
In an exclusive interview with Digital Spy, Big Meesh opened up on her Celebrity MasterChef experience and recalled the one thing she found difficult from her time in the kitchen.
"I've grown up in a family where we tend to cook from scratch," she said, praising her Jamaican culture. "We naturally cook all the time.
"So in terms of prepping for a show like this, I'm still doing the same cooking but I'm just putting on the timer. That's the biggest challenge: the time is the time."
The home chef emphasised that producers "ain't messing about" when they say contestants have to stick to a time limit.
"There is no, 'All right, we say that for them lot at home, but you’ve got time'. You've got to believe it, and they're breathing down your neck," she told us.
"When you got five minutes left, you got five minutes left. So anyone that's been on that show, I know exactly what they've gone through to be there. Massive ratings and respect to them."
The TV personality also called Celebrity MasterChef the "toughest competition ever".
"You're not in your own kitchen. So you've got to navigate through a different kitchen, and you're being filmed, and you're being spoken to and you haven't really got the time for chit-chat," she explained.
Mica also added that her "mother hen" mentality was tested in the MasterChef kitchen.
"I'm always looking around going: 'You okay?'" she said. "You might hear somebody drop something over there and you're worrying about everybody else, but you've just got to crack on with it. So it's a very tough competition."
Mica made the semi-final with Marcus Brigstocke in the first of the heats. They make up the final eight alongside Emmerdale actress Amy Walsh, Love Island star Luca Bish, singers Jamelia and Max George, plus comedian Shazia Mirza and Wynne Evans of Go Compare advert fame.
Viewers will see the semi-finalists tested in three episodes airing this week, during which Gregg and John will narrow down the talent ahead of next week's grand final.
Celebrity MasterChef airs on BBC One.
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