CELEBRITIES cooked up a feast fit for Shakespeare’s birthday.
Contestants on the BBC’s Celebrity MasterChef were challenged to create a banquet fit for the Bard 450th birthday at Mary Arden’s Farm.
The working Tudor farm where Shakespeare’s mother grew up was the surprise setting for an unusual semi-final test in the popular series.
The eight celebrity cooks, including dancer Wayne Sleep and actor Christopher Biggins, had to create a feast for 100 Shakespeare fans using a field kitchen and ingredients that would have been available in the 16th century.
The Shakespeare’s birthday banquet challenge was filmed secretly in April and details were kept under wraps to protect the identity of the remaining contestants.
Abi Moore, manager of Mary Arden’s Farm, said: “The request from the producers came at a very busy time in the run up to the celebrations of Shakespeare’s 450th anniversary, but the opportunity was simply too good to miss.
“We make our own costumes here at the farm and we had to call on friends and family as well as staff and volunteers and the wider Shakespeare community to rustle up enough outfits to kit out all the invited guests and dress the Great Barn for the Celebrity MasterChef feast. We want to thank everyone who pulled out all the stops to help us make the programme.
“We had a fabulous two days making the programme and the production team was one of the best we have ever had filming here. We’re looking forward to seeing the finished programme and I hope that everyone will tune in to watch our teams who bring the works, life and times of Shakespeare to life for visitors on a daily basis.”
The Tudor-costumed guests at the birthday banquet include many of the staff and volunteers of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the charity that keeps the five Shakespeare family homes and gardens open to the public year round.
The programme is screened at 9pm on Thursday (10 July), or will be available afterwards on iPlayer.