BBC Defend Decision To Move To Celebrity Masterchef To Daytime Slot

Fans of Celebrity Masterchef are reaching boiling point as BBC bosses defend their decision to air the popular cookery contest in a daytime slot.

One vexed viewer tweeted, “Scheduling DOESN’T get stupider than thisâ€?.

The programme made a quiet return to BBC One last week, occupying the 2.15pm to 3pm slot each day. Compared to last year’s viewing figures, which peaked at around 6.7 million, viewing figures in 2011 have so far been pitifully low with audiences barely clearing 749k.

Viewers can catch up with the week’s culinary action by tuning into Friday and Saturday evening compilation shows. But angry viewers are hungry for more and would like to see a return to weeknight helpings of the popular show.

Responding to complaints, the BBC said: “This series allows a greater examination of the celebs’ cooking skills as there will be more hours of Celebrity MasterChef than ever before.

“The Friday and Saturday evening programmes will ensure that viewers won’t miss out on the main event as they pick up with the three celebs facing their last terrifying challenges and battling for their place in the semi-final.”

“This format means viewers will get even more Celebrity MasterChef than in previous years and more of our audience can follow the competition. With 90 minutes of catchup in the peak schedule and availability on the BBC iPlayer we hope everyone can enjoy the series.”

This year’s competition features “celebrities have already reached the top of their professionâ€?. Tune in to BBC One, weekdays at 2.15pm to see the café owner from Hollyoaks clash cutlery with a former page three model and that creepy woman from Victorian Farm…