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February 26, 2009

Tonight’s the night. After six weeks, the 132 wannabe chefs who started this fifth series of the new MasterChef have been simmered down to three and, at the climax of this evening’s show, one competitor will emerge gravy-stained and victorious.

The repetitive formula of the show can be a drag and the way in which the judges try to make eating seem macho gets tired pretty quickly but it is still must-watch telly. Even if final competitor Mat Follas does look disturbingly like Ming the Merciless, the passion and skill which the final three have shown is breath-taking stuff.

No matter how interested you are in eating food or cooking it, one of the most enjoyable features of the show has little to do with either. The real star is the nonsense Gregg and John spout as they shovel in a forkful from the 2000th dish of the season and try to come up with a fresh way of describing it. Top marks to The Guardian for their Masterchef Random Gibberish Generator.

If MasterChef doesn’t poach your pears then you could try out 5pm’s latest members in Glasgow. The Ashoka Southside and Ashoka at the Mill can satisfy your curry cravings while Minsky’s at the Hilton dishes up the flavours of a New York deli.