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BBC culinary series Celebrity MasterChef is bringing things to a head this week with the all-important semi-finals. A total of eight famous faces will be going up against each other in the hopes of wowing judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace to win the contest. Many fans of the show are curious about contestant Riyadh Khalaf – Express.co.uk has the lowdown.
Who is Celebrity MasterChef 2020 semi-finalist Riyadh Khalaf?
Riyadh is a YouTuber, journalist and broadcaster as well an important voice within the LGBTQ+ community as a campaigner and activist.
He worked on the BBC documentary series Queer Britain which looked at different facets of the LGBTQ+ community in the UK.
Riyadh boasts an impressive online following with almost 90,000 followers on Instagram and close to 400,000 on YouTube.
The star is also a podcast host with his award-winning comedy show Unexpected Fluids getting nominated for a gong at the British Podcast Awards.
The 28-year-old star was born in Dublin to an Irish Catholic mother and an Iraqi Muslim father, who have been his biggest supporters since he came out.
He has spoken candidly about coming out to his parents and even made a video featuring his mother and father where they all spoke about the emotional moment.
Not only this but Riyadh is an author with his first book Yay! You’re Gay! Now What? being published in 2019.
Posting on Instagram about his book, Riyadh explained: “I wrote it with the mission of creating the book I so desperately needed growing up.
“This book is for the thousands of lost, afraid and underserved queer teens who’ve messaged me over the years looking for help.”
“It’s also for every person who comes in contact with that queer teen who wants to learn how to nurture, protect and uplift them, from teachers to classmates to work colleagues and even parents who are finding it difficult to accept.
“My own parents have written a beautiful chapter on how to overcome shame and find love for your newly “out” child.
“There’s also queer sex ed, advice on coming out, dealing with bullies, what to do if your parents are homophobic, finding your calling and learning to LOVE your identity.”
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Yay! You’re Gay! Now What? also features contributions from Stephen Fry, Dr Ranj Singh, Courtney Act, among others.
His latest book The Gay Guide is out now for fans to read.
Riyadh has been showcasing his skills in the kitchen on social media, recently sharing a shot of bruschetta he whipped up.
So, his fans have high hopes for him claiming the Celebrity MasterChef title this year.
Who are the Celebrity MasterChef 2020 semi-finalists?
There is a total of eight semi-finalists who have made it this far in the competition, including Khalaf.
Matthew Pinsent, an Olympic gold medallist and sports presenter has also earned a place in the later rounds.
Amar Latif, who is the show’s first blind contestant and a TV host and entrepreneur, will be hoping to impress the judges John and Gregg.
Gethin Jones – former Blue Peter presenter and Rugby Union player – has impressed with his culinary skills.
Sam Quek is in the running and is a Olympic gold hockey player, who has since appeared on other celebrity reality shows including I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, The Chase and Pointless Celebrities.
Judi Love will be hoping to be crowned the Celebrity MasterChef 2020 champion and is perhaps best known for being a Loose Women panellist as well as a comedienne.
Thomas Skinner rounds off the semi-finalists on this year’s competition after finding fame on The Apprentice.
Celebrity MasterChef 2020 airs on BBC One tonight at 9pm
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