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Look what's cooking... Yvonne battles for TV celeb chef crown

EIGHT celebrities will be swapping the media glare for the searing lights of the MasterChef kitchen.

Yvonne Keating joins sports presenter Tracy Piggott and broadcaster Maia Dunphy on the first celebrity series of the popular cookery show.

The three women personalities will face competition from Apres Match star Gary Cooke, RTE newscaster Aengus Mac Grianna and journalist Conor Pope.

Former Mr World Kamal Ibrahim and athlete David Gillick are among the contestants.

The celebs face a series of nerve-racking challenges set by Michelin-starred chef Dylan McGrath and top restaurateur Nick Munier for the first celebrity series of the RTE show.

Dylan (36) stresses that it takes guts to don the signature white and orange MasterChef aprons.

"We have such a broad selection of celebrities who are professionals in their own right using their love of food and their competitive passion to win, which I think will make for a great competition," he said.



"I am really interested to see who breaks away from the pack and takes the first ever title of Celebrity MasterChef."

Nick Munier, who co-owns Pichet restaurant, said that they are looking for something special from the line out.

"I'm hoping to see passion, skill, common sense and a good humoured chef," he said.

"We have a group of celebrities that we think have what it takes to come out of their comfort zone and rise to the challenge to take the title of Celebrity MasterChef."

Yvonne Keating, ex-wife of Boyzone's Ronan Keating, believes she is ready for the new challenge of TV and media.

Yvonne (39), who split from Ronan two years ago, has finished project managing the build and interior design of her family home and is looking for new challenges.

Mum to Jack, Missy and Ali, Yvonne travelled the globe with Ronan and put her personal career on hold – but now she is back to make a bid for the MasterChef crown.

Herald columnist Maia Dunphy (36), wife of comedian Johnny Vegas, is behind several documentaries for RTE and has further projects in the pipeline.

But she said it was her ultimate aim to be named cooking champ on the show.

Sports stars Tracy Piggott (47) and David Gilick (29) are also in the running for the title. The duo have a collection of trophies between them, but winning Celebrity MasterChef is their ultimate goal.

The competition is also hot between media luvvies Aengus Mac Grianna (49), an RTE newscaster, Conor Pope (44), the Irish Times consumer affairs correspondent, and Kamal Ibrahim (27), who heads up the National Lottery show.

The series will run for six weeks from July on RTE One.