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MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook celebrity chef Ross Burden dies aged 45

28 JULY 2014

Britain's celebrity chefs have been saddened by the loss of one of their dear colleagues and fellow silver screen chefs, Ross Burden.

The New Zealand-born chef, who rose to fame when he reached the final of MasterChef in 1993 before going on to appear regularly alongside Ainsley Harriott on Ready Steady Cook, has died aged 45 after a battle with cancer.

His sister, Kirsten Hughes, is reported to have said that the former model was diagnosed with a form of leukaemia last July, and died after contracting an infection during a bone marrow transplant.

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"He's just a friendly, compassionate guy - nothing was too much trouble," she told the New Zealand Herald of her older brother.  

"He was my big, fantastic incredible, larger-than-life brother.

"Right up until probably a week-and-a-half ago, he was making his next lot of plans. He had the world map out."

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TV stars and celebrity chefs paid tribute to Ross on Twitter upon learning of the loss of the much-loved chef, who returned to New Zealand to join the judging panel on the country's first MasterChef series in 2010.

Saturday Kitchen star James Martin tweeted: "Just heard the sad news my old Ready, Steady, Cook colleague Ross Burden has passed away. My thoughts go out to friends and family. RIP Ross."

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Fern Britton's husband Phil Vickery added: "Very sad news my friend and fellow chef Ross Burden died today!"

Italian-born celebrity chef Aldo Zilli, meanwhile, wrote: "Remembering the good times on this very sad day for the Ross Burden family my thoughts are with you."

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