Oisin swaps the pitch for the kitchen on Celebrity MasterChef Ireland

January 9, 2017

All-Ireland medal winner Oisin McConville is ready to test himself in the kitchen instead of the pitch as a contestant on the new series of Celebrity MasterChef  Ireland.

The 40 year old is set to battle it out along with 9 other well known Irish celebrities in the second series of the hit show which begins on TV3 next Monday (16th January) at 10pm. Braving the heat of the kitchen alongside Oisin over the next eight weeks will be Sonia O’Sullivan , one of the country’s most successful athletes, singer and actress Samantha Mumba , RTÉ weather forecaster Evelyn Cusack, model Holly Carpenter, Eurovision winner and singer Niamh Kavanagh, model and TV personality Nadia Forde, Director of Amnesty Ireland Colm O’Gorman, ‘Saturday AM’ presenter and actor Simon Delaney and Singer songwriter Mundy.

Speaking to The Examiner about being put through his paces in the TV kitchen, the former Armagh and Crossmaglen Rangers champion admits that cooking has never been one of his strong points but he says his involvement in the competition has vastly improved his culinary skills.

“When I got the call inviting me to take part, I wasn’t entirely sure I was up for the challenge as I’m no expert in the kitchen,” admitted Oisin.

“My wife really encouraged me to go for it and I have to say it has been great to do something totally out of my comfort zone. I’ve watched a bit of reality TV and I always cringe when people say the experience changed their lives, but I can honestly say that there have been big changes in my life from taking part in MasterChef.

“Myself and my wife cook everything from scratch and it’s entirely changed what we eat and how we eat.  Nutritionally it’s great for ourselves and the kids and I really enjoy cooking now.  I can see now why Darina wanted me to do it – she knew she’d get rewarded with a good cook at the end of it!”

Oisin revealed that, as a sportsman, his competitive streak kicked in and he focused 100% on the tasks, which include perfecting a signature dish which the contestants have loved since childhood.

“I really enjoyed pushing myself to get better and with an intense filming schedule of 4 days a week, we all learned quickly and I went from thinking I wouldn’t mind how the competition would go to not wanting it to end.”

As the show is pre-recorded Oisin remained tight-lipped about his progress in the competition but hailed it “an unforgettable experience” and “a fantastic opportunity to do something totally different.” Asked if Reality TV is the next step for the former GAA All-Star, he quipped that we weren’t likely to see him in the Celebrity Big Brother house any time soon!

Over eight weeks the celebrity cooks on Celebrity MasterChef Ireland will be learning from two of the most creative and aspirational chefs in the business- Michelin star chef, Daniel Clifford, one of Britain’s most celebrated chefs, and Dublin-born Robin Gill, one of London’s most respected chefs and restaurateurs.  Daniel and Robin are looking for top notch cooking skills and if the celebrities don’t cut the mustard, they will be eliminated!

Tune in to ‘Celebrity MasterChef Ireland’ every Monday at 10pm on TV3, from 16th January, 2017 with catch up on 3player.