MasterChef has returned for its 20th series on the BBC, and one of the contestants taking part is from Somerset.

Louise is from Exmoor in West Somerset and is one of six contestants taking part in the second heat of the 2024 series tonight (Wednesday, April 3).

The 43-year-old was born and grew up in Staffordshire, but moved to a small farm in Exmoor five years ago with her husband Ally and daughter Ophelia.

In a description for MasterChef 2024 on the BBC website, it says: "Judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace embark on an exhilarating journey across eight weeks, to discover the UK’s best amateur cook, one plate at a time, serving up surprises and extra special occasions along the way."

Meet MasterChef 2024 contestant Louise

Discussing her style of cooking, Louise said her biggest inspirations were the "British landscape" and "seasonality".

She added: "My recipes are always ingredient-led, as it’s enormously important to me that I support British farmers and use as much locally grown produce as possible. In a nutshell, I think my style of food is [a] slightly fancy classic farmhouse.”

Asked why she applied for MasterChef she explained: "For at least 15 years my friends and family have been badgering me to apply for MasterChef. The reason I applied this year was that I had just had my five-year cancer-versary.

"I was diagnosed when my daughter was 18 months old and our world imploded. My diagnosis and intense treatment took a long time to come to terms with and changed me.

Somerset County Gazette: Louise will be taking part in the second heat of the 2024 seriesLouise will be taking part in the second heat of the 2024 series (Image: BBC/Shine TV)

"A positive change was to try to embrace all of life’s opportunities fully; not to say ‘no’ to scary things or to allow the myriad nasty side effects that I live with each day to stop me from having adventures. And so, I had to apply, and I am enormously glad I did.”

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Louise was also not shy in expressing her love for MasterChef saying: "Over the years, I’ve gained knowledge, confidence, and inspiration from watching. MasterChef has stood the test of time and is as relevant and boundary-challenging as it ever has been.

"MasterChef has inspired generations of amateur, professional and celebrity cooks. For me, it’s a kind, encouraging TV show where you’ll be met with positivity, where you can see ordinary people trying their best, learning new skills and excelling at something they love. I really hope that I will still be watching the same show for the next 20 series.”

MasterChef series 20 is available to watch on BBC One on selected weeknights and BBC iPlayer