Happy Mondays’ legendary Bolton-born percussionist and maraca-shaking dance extraordinaire Bez is competing in this year’s Celebrity MasterChef.
Twenty famous faces form part of the full lineup set to take part in the celebrity version of the ever-popular BBC One cooking competition, with judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace back to cast their eye over dishes.
The series will be shown over six weeks, with the celebrities tackling a new series of cookery challenges each week.
Bez – real name Mark Berry – will be representing Manchester.
He will be joined by Strictly Come Dancing’s Johannes Radebe, actress Su Pollardare, actor turned presenter Joe Swash, Blue singer Duncan James, Britain’s Got Talent finalist and comedian Nabil Abdulrashid, and The Great British Sewing Bee judge Patrick Grant.
This year’s crop of celebrities also includes comedian Munya Chawawa, Melanie Sykes, former EastEnders actress Rita Simons, singer and reality TV star Megan McKenna and Penny Lancaster.
The Repair Shop’s Will Kirk is also among the contestants, along with TV star Katie Price, ex-England footballer Dion Dublin and journalist, author Gavin Esler, Paralympic champion Kadeena Cox, Love Island star Kem Cetinay, and actresses Melissa Johns and Michelle Collins.
Alongside resident MasterChef judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace, a number of renowned chefs will also appear as guest judges, including Tom Kerridge, Nisha Katona, Nieves Barragan Mohacho and more.
Speaking on the announcement of the full lineup, series editor Katie Attwood said: “This year’s line-up promises a huge amount of humour and entertainment.
“Lockdown has proved productive for our famous faces’ culinary skills and we are set to see some exceptional talent and astonishing dishes as the celebrities swap their day jobs for a spot in the MasterChef kitchen”.
Sarah Clay – Commissioning Editor for the BBC – said: “Celebrity MasterChef is one the highlights of the British summertime schedule and this series is as entertaining and charming as ever.
“The 20 brave celebrities are joined by a host of chefs at the top of their game in brand new tasks which makes this year feel extra special.
“The standard of cooking is like nothing we have seen before”.
Celebrity MasterChef will return to BBC One and BBC iPlayer this summer.
Featured Image – BBC One / MasterChef
Incredible misty drone footage shows how Manchester earned its ‘Manctopia’ nickname
Drone footage captured from way above Manchester shows just how quickly the city has grown – and proves that our hometown is well on its way to earning its ‘Manctopia’ nickname.
Cast your mind back just a few years and you’ll remember that Beetham Tower stuck out like a sore thumb, towering many storeys above the next tallest building.
In fact, until just four years ago, the next-tallest building here was City Tower, which was a good 17 storeys shorter than Beetham Tower.
Then along came Renaker with visions for an entirely new skyscraper neighbourhood – Deansgate Square.
This group of skyscrapers now completely dominate the Manchester skyline, with the tallest building a massive 65 storeys tall.
South Tower is not only the tallest building in Greater Manchester, it’s also the 10th tallest in the entire UK, and the biggest outside of London.
It’s all led to Manchester being coined ‘Manctopia’, the name of a BBC documentary that followed property developers Capital & Centric as they redevelop buildings around the region.
One local photographer has managed to capture the unbelievable scale of our new, ultra-modern city skyline, with drone footage soaring among the skyscrapers.
Known on Instagram as @lef_tsotour, they shared a video taken on a misty Manchester morning.
It captures both Deansgate Square, with sun glinting off the many windows of the towers, and the now-dwarfed Beetham Tower.
You can also see the railway lines snaking through the city centre, cars nipping around the ring road, and the comparatively small apartment blocks around Castlefield.
Commenting on the video, one person said: “This is mint.”
Another wrote: “Fricken love this!!!!”
Featured image: @lef_tsotour
Question Time audience stunned as first-time buyer says mortgage quote DOUBLED
Thursday night’s Question Time audience could be heard audibly gasping after a fellow crowd member revealed that her mortgage quote had doubled followed the recent mini-budget.
Taping in Manchester on 29 September, the current events and politics programme was discussing property when would-be first-time buyer Rabia revealed that her mortgage offer had jumped from an initial amount of 4.5% interest to a shocking 10.5% in just a matter of days.
As you can see in the incredible clip, both the audience and the panel are taken aback at the revelation.
The Greater Manchester resident said she is desperate to know what the government’s plan for mortgages is as following the latest revision, she says she simply cannot afford to put the money down on her first home.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer weighed in on the social media reaction, quote tweeting the clip from his party’s own account and stating that “the Tories must get back to Parliament and reverse their kamikaze budget” as the current economic mess is being “paid for by working people”.
To make matters worse, Rabia was given no clarification from her lenders, only that they were pulling her offers. Conservative MP and Minister for Local Government, Faith and Communities, Paul Scully had little information to offer her either, simply stating it is a short-term effect and that the market will stabilise.
Scully was subject to an entirely different reaction from the audience as well after his blind attempts to defend Prime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng were met with laughter. Conversely, Richard Bacon was met with applause after he labelled the mini-budget “absurd”.
As if the anti-Tory sentiment wasn’t already at a high, the chancellor’s mini-budget – which saw the corporations, bankers and the generally wealthy benefit ahead of the working class – has seen fresh calls for a general election to be held as soon as possible.
Beyond declaring a so-called £2,500 limit on energy bills (which many have warned isn’t a guaranteed cap), there was seemingly very little in the way of policy that
For those still unclear as to what was announced in the divisive mini-budget, here is a quick summary:
Speaking in a speech at the Labour conference in Liverpool on Tuesday, Starmer said that the government “haven’t just failed to fix the roof, they’ve ripped out the foundations, smashed the windows and now they’ve blown the doors off for good measure.