Celeb Masterchef winner Riyadh brands Gregg and John ‘overlords’ and reveals horror knife accident nearly took finger

THE moment YouTuber Riyadh Khalaf won Celebrity Masterchef his boyfriend turned to him and said "I think your life has changed forever".

After five weeks of intense culinary challenges, the 29-year-old managed to beat 19 other famous faces to win the prestigious competition.

The charismatic Irishman won over the Masterchef audiences with his humour and charm.

He also managed to even win over with his TV judges Gregg Wallace and John Torode despite describing them as "overlords".

Riyadh described feeling intimidated by the judges, but managed to win them over with his commitment to getting his cooking up to top standard.

He told The Sun Online: "They start as over lords that you want to please.

"They are so much warmer than people give them credit for. They are scary on screen.

"They can’t hide their warmth when you are in front of them and actually they want you to do well."

Riyadh shared his top tip in how to win the scary judges over.

"If they tell you something that they want differently, and you prove to them that you listened, like telling you to cut the storks off the spinach leaves and you do it next time they will be impressed."

The influencer who has 335,000 subscribers, with over 50 million views on YouTube also developed a special relationship with John.

The pair became so close, the photo he actually plans to frame from his time on Celebrity Masterchef, is not the one of him holding the trophy, but rather celebrating with the judges.

"John and I had a particular lovely friendship on the show," Riyadh explained.

But it wasn't all roses for the author who almost lost a finger during the semi-finals.

He explained: "We were running out of time, and I didn't have my dish complete.

"I started cutting some radishes on the mandoline very, very fast. I looked up for a second and my thumb just went into it.

"I went as white as a sheet, I almost went grey."

Fellow contestant Judie Love came over to him looking concerned and said ‘mate you need to sit down, you’re not looking right.’

But Riyadh refused to stop and continued to cook despite bleeding profusely.

"I was like I need to keep cooking, there’s only 30 seconds left. That was probably the scariest moment, but I’m just clumsy.

"I might be a good cook but I’m just clumsy."

Riyadh has been in a relationship with fellow YouTuber, Josh Harrison, since 2018 and the pair live together in London.

The young star has been a vocal LGBTQ+ advocate in his work, with many calling his win an "inspiration".

One such person is his dad, Sam, who struggled at first to accept his son's sexuality.

Sam who escaped war-torn Iraq to move to Ireland, admitted his "head was absolutely wrecked" by the news.

After Riyadh's father's extended family suggested sending Riyadh to Syria for conversion therapy, he cut ties with them and chose to rebuild his relationship with his son.

The pair are now closer than ever and attend Pride marches together.

Riyadh decided to pay tribute to his dad and his Iraqi roots on the show's final, by making a dish from his homeland.

The tribute left Riyadh's dad a "mess" and "once Covid has f**d off", he plans to go to Ireland to make it for him.

Riyadh watched the final virtually with his family: "I had Zoom beside me and the TV beside me, so I could see all their faces.

"The minute I began talking about our story and cooking his special meal, he was in floods.

"I wanted to jump into the screen and be there with him. It’s because this dish, these kebabs, they aren’t just food that you wrap up. In that meal is a connection to culture that he had to leave behind because of war and destruction.

"It was everything he grew up with that he had to say goodbye too."

Riyadh added: "That was my proudest moment from the series even besides winning. We had a lovely phone call at the end and I said ‘I love you so much, you are an amazing father and it was my honour to represent you with this amazing dish'."

Riyadh has a big future ahead of him thanks to the win, with bookies favouriting him to appear on this year's Strictly.

He thought he "would use the moment as fuel to do something else great with food and culture, TV, radio" and never anticipated food would be a part of his life's plans.

"Food was never in my plan for, so when I went in the competition, I was a foodie but not someone who could create food of restaurant quality," he said.

"Once I progressed and I got through round after round, this new passion grew inside me."

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