Former Eastenders actress Sophie Thompson wins Celebrity Masterchef

Former Eastenders actress Sophie Thompson has won season nine of the BBC show Celebrity Masterchef, beating fellow finalists supermodel Jodie Kidd and adventurer Charley Boorman.

"These look amazing", John told Sophie of her three plates during the final, as he and fellow judge Gregg Wallace gushed over her meals, including the main of oven-roasted brill with pepper crust, seared scallops, black pudding and chorizo oil.

"She's exciting, she's daring, she's a force to be reckoned with," John added.

Charley Boorman, Jodie Kidd and Sophie Thompson

The final came after six weeks of intense battles which often hit boiling point as the celebrities were narrowed down to the remaining three.

The penultimate challenge for the three finalists was hosted by Italian chef Francesco Mazzei, a Grana Padano ambassador, at his swanky London restaurant L'Anima.

The budding chefs were set to the task of creating three signature dishes for Antonio Carluccio, Giorgio Locatelli, Theo Randall and Aldo Zilli, four Italian chefs.

Speaking exclusively to HELLO! Online Francesco said: "One of [the signature dishes] was my mamma's dish! It ended up being a disaster. Charley cooked the rabbit dish and did a good job but it was a bit dry. The execution of the chocolate dome was a triumph."

It was Francesco's first time hosting a Masterchef challenge and he revealed how pleased he was to be asked.

Francesco Mazzei and his restaurant L'Anima

"It was just so great to be chosen by BBC for this show, which is so popular and excites people about food. It is always so well-received by the public," said the Italian chef and restaurant owner.

"For me, being able to have a camera in the kitchen and to show how L'Anima food is produced, our real genuine food, to a very wide audience is fantastic.

"Not everyone has the opportunity to go into a professional kitchen so this is really special. To have them at the restaurant, and showcase the Italian theme was perfect. We had the five best chefs in the country come into the best Italian restaurant in the country – what more could you want?"

Speaking of the three finalists, Francesco said: "They didn’t panic and were fantastic to work with", before adding of Sophie: "[Sophie] deserved it and worked hard to get the final prize!"