Finalist Tim makes a return to MasterChef tonight

Tim Kinnaird in his shop, Macarons and More, at the Royal Arcade. Picture: Denise Bradley

Tim Kinnaird in his shop, Macarons and More, at the Royal Arcade. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Archant 2013

MasterChef finalist Tim Kinnaird is back on the small screen tonight, as part of the programme's tenth anniversary celebrations.

But instead of being put through his paces in the kitchen, the former paediatrician from Shipdham, joins presenters John Torode and Gregg Wallace, 2011 champion Tim Anderson and last year's winner Natalie Coleman on the judging panel on BBC One at 9pm.

'It's great to be asked back, but it does fire off those anxious thoughts again,' he said.

'When the contestants were bringing the food to us, you could see the look of stress and hard work they had put into their dishes. You emphathise with their lot.'

Mr Kinnaird, who opened up his Macarons and More shop in Norwich's Royal Arcade last year, said his life had been transformed by taking part in the series in 2010.

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'I have the shop and the wholesale business online and I now employ seven people,' he said.

'We won the Beautiful Baking category in the EDP Food & Drink Awards and were runners up in the Observer Food Monthly Independent Retailer category. That bit that John Torode says about MasterChef changing your life is true – it couldn't have changed my life any more.'

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Mr Kinnaird said the show had given him once in a lifetime opportunities, including travelling to India and cooking at a Maharajah's palace and that he still keeps in touch with the 'MasterChef family'.

'If I could give the current contestants any advice, it would be to enjoy the experience as much as possible,' he said. 'The things you get to do are such a privilege. I got to go to India and France and cook in Michelin star restaurants. They are things you will never experience again.'

Being served up delicious dishes for nearly four hours was definitely better than sweating it out in the kitchen, according to Mr Kinnaird but it brought back memories of the hard slog he went through to get to the finals.

'Part of the reason I carried on through the competition was the encouragement you get from the judges and the other entrants,' he said. 'I am still good friends with the other two finalists.

'When you meet like-minded people who are so into food, your inclination is to connect and bond and talk food with them.'

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