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An introduction to ITV’s BBQ Champ

Finally, a British cooking programme based on our favourite pastime - the art of barbecuing! BBQ Champ, launches on ITV this week, introducing us to a team of eight contestants from across the country who will compete to become the first ever ‘BBQ Champ’ and the winner of a rather lovely £25,000 prize!

The series will be showing every Friday at 9pm starting from Friday 31st July. Each week the competitors will be presented with challenges that they will have to overcome in order to win the judges approval and ultimately stay in the competition; and located on Stansted Park Farm on the Hampshire/West Sussex border, they’ll have to contend with the great British weather too!

Presenting the show is the lovely Myleene Klass, who openly admits to not being the finest of cooks, but was raised on BBQ food and has a real appreciation for it. In talks with ITV on the set of filming, Myleene discussed how hosting BBQ Champ is a dream job, even if it is not so good for her waistline.

Like any other cooking competition on TV, BBQ Champ will be as much about the contestants as it is the judges and the cooking. I’m sure most of us BBQ fans will have heard of Adam Richman - star of Man vs Food - who is bringing his exceptional knowledge of BBQ food to the table. When asked by ITV what his judging style will be like, Adam replied “Firm but fair”... we can’t wait to see what that entails!

The other person to judge the masterpieces of our local barbecuers will be British BBQ expert, Mr Mark Blatchford. Current owner of a charcoal and wood speciality restaurant called John Doe in London; Mark has the experience and know-how of barbecuing behind him. He described his judging style as “honest and to the point”, and he is expecting to see contestants mastering the art of controlling heat and fire - as well as creating delicious dishes of course!

Make sure you stay up to date with all the highlights from each episode by following our Twitter and Facebook pages.

The Contestants

There will be 8 contestants getting their grill on for the BBQ Champ judges and we can’t wait to get to know them better as the weeks go on, but for now, here’s a quick introduction to the BBQ hopefuls!

Duncan Meyers
Age: 29
Occupation: IT Consultant
Lives: Woking, Surrey

Emma Millest
Age: 31
Occupation: Insurance Admin
Lives: Swindon

Gary Thomasson
Age: 46
Occupation: Full time carer
Lives: Southampton

Kuldip Singh Sahot
Age: 33
Occupation: Family Business
Lives: London

Nicola Fitzpatrick
Age: 36
Occupation: Career break
Lives: London

Simon Dyer
Age: 52
Occupation: Farm owner
Lives: Somerset

Solomon Smith
Age: 29
Occupation: Soup Kitchen
Lives: Brixton

Tony Smith
Age: 38
Occupation: Photographer
Lives: Ripon, Yorkshire

What's coming up - Episode 5 (Friday 28th Aug)

This week it's the final and just four contestants remain in the competition to win the 2015 BBQ Champ title and the cash prize of £25,000.
The remaining BBQers face their most technically demanding challenge so far, where they must stuff, roll, and tie a cut of meat of their choice. Then we're off to the Location Challenge where the contestants create fine dining dishes on a BBQ, including mouth watering combinations like hot smoked salmon with quail’s egg, scallops with a lemon and herb butter and juicy venison steaks.

Episode 4 (Fri 21st Aug)

This week on ITV's BBQ Champ it's the semi-final and just five BBQers remain in the competition to win the £25,000 cash prize and be crowned BBQ Champ 2015.
In this episode we go from typically british with the individual BBQ challenge where each contestant must cook a full Sunday dinner on the grill, to the eastern flavours at the famous International Street Food Market in Camden for the BBQ location challenge, where we will get to see the contestants try their hand at the Yakitori grill.
Don't forget to watch at 9 pm on Friday to see who will make it through to the final and who will be leaving the competition for good!

Episode 3 (Fri 14th Aug)

With only six contestants remaining in the competition, the pressure is mounting as they each get that little bit closer to the £25,000 prize and being named Britain’s first ever BBQ Champ.

First up in this weeks episode is the Decadent Desserts challenge at BBQ HQ. We can’t wait to feast our eyes on the contestants chosen concoctions, and see wait Adam and Mark make of them. Once the winner of that round is announced, the show is off to London for the epic Low and Slow challenge!

Episode 2 (Friday 7th Aug)

In the second episode of BBQ Champ the contestants will compete in the ‘King of the Kebab’ challenge: Out of the remaining seven contestants, will it be Solomon with his spicy chicken kebabs that impresses the judges the most? Or will Gary steel the first half of the show with his ambitious 'Fruits de Mer' dish?

After the first challenge is judged it's time to head off to the south coast for the contestants second location challenge duly named the ‘Seaside Sizzler’, where contestants will be barbecuing for families on the beach - a favourite past-time for us Brits.

Episode 1 (Friday 31st July)

In the first episode of BBQ Champ, the contestants will be presented with their first challenge of ‘Personality on a Plate’, where they each have 1 hour and 45 minutes to create a dish on the BBQ that shows the judges something about themselves.

Then, in a Best of British team challenge, the teams will have two and a half hours, using only the food from the farm shop where the show is based, to make the country proud with an extraordinary BBQ buffet.