MasterChef judge John Torode confirms big shake up to the BBC cooking series

Much-loved BBC cooking competition MasterChef is set to introduce some exciting landmark changes in the upcoming series later this month – one of which will be of particular excitement for judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace.

The culinary professional pair will now be served a plate of hot food by the chefs, something that has not yet happened in the 18 years since the show first aired.

Despite having adjusted their taste-buds to inspect room temperature cuisine over the years, John, 56, and Gregg, 57, will finally be presented with a steaming dish in a brand new round of the competition.

Australian-British TV chef and presenter John recently let fans in on the show's newest addition. "It's a revelation!" he joked. "We're always eating food which is room temperature.

John, who is married to actress Lisa Faulkner after meeting her on the show, continued: "Nice, hot food is great. It makes a big difference."

The brand new piping hot round will see the cooks – all of whom hope to come away with the MasterChef trophy in hand – preparing what they believe are their signature dishes.

The meal will be prepared off camera and then the final result will be presented to the judges to taste.

"It's called the Audition Round and they come in and cook their signature dish for Gregg and I," John explained. "We don't see them cook and all we do is get to taste their food. It's as if we were going to a restaurant.

John continued: "All we would do is just sit down, eat the food and then judge it on that, and that's what we've done."

The brand new round will offer competitive participants the chance to show off their culinary skills and talents with a dish they excel in and are the most proud of.

It is also understood that the additional round will give the cooks an arguably softer start to the series, before the more intense cooking segments begin.

John – who also presents John And Lisa's Weekend Kitchen on ITV alongside his partner – revealed: "It's a far more exciting way to start the competition.

"It gives everybody a chance to settle in a bit, it gives everybody a chance to cook something they really love to cook. And it also means that Gregg and I get to eat hot food, which is a revelation."

Presenters John and Gregg – who first appeared as the show's hosts in 2005 – also recently disclosed that the the series is "not scripted at all", and that there's always something happening in the kitchen which ensures that MasterChef always "stays fresh".

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John has also joked in the past that it is becoming increasingly more difficult to think of novel ways to describe the food that is being presented to them, having appeared on the show for 18 years.

"One of the things that you can't really change very much is trying to find an adjective to describe food," he admitted. "We try as hard as we can to be as fresh, as in how we explain things."

For all the latest news from the biggest TV stars, sign up to OK!’s daily newsletter. The brand new series of MasterChef will air on BBC One on March 23 at 8pm.

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