Adam Pearsons has praised Celebrity Masterchef’s production team for not making a meal out of his disability.
Pearsons, who was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type 1 when he was five, joined contestants Coronation Street’s Ryan Thomas, Drag Race UK’s Kitty Scot Claus, Strictly professional Katya Jones and TV star Lisa Snowdon on this weeks’ show.
The British actor told Metro.co.uk he signed up to the popular BBC cooking show because the production has a habit of not ‘pigeonholing’ people with disabilities.
Pearsons, 37, said: ‘It’s that thing of upskilling. Any situation I can put myself in where I can meet new people and learn a new skill is an opportunity that I always relish.’
He chose to go on the show because it had ‘nothing to do with disability’.
‘Often with minority talent, and particularly disabled talent, they get pigeonholed into only doing massive air quotes here, disability things,’ Pearsons explained.
‘I’ve got no idea what disability things are, so if someone could let me know and I could start doing them, that would be great! But no, it was something that existed outside of that realm, and it seemed like a real opportunity to sort of step out of that bubble.
‘I think diversity works at its best when you see disabled people alongside non-disabled people doing the same thing and interacting on the same playing field.’
Unfortunately Pearsons was the first contestant to be eliminated on this week's show.
His curried cauliflower dish with buttered potatoes was mouthwatering, the second dish of homemade tacos was also a tasty treat.
But his jambalaya came out the oven dry, costing Pearsons his place on the show.
‘Under pressure, I ruined the chicken and it just truly got away from me,’ he admitted: ‘And I’m stunned how much I care.’
After the show aired on Tuesday he made a sarcastic apology for coming in a video he shared on Twitter.
He said: ‘‘So after tonight’s @MasterChefUK performance I feel the obligatory “celebrity” apology is merited.
‘I let you down, me down and let us down. I hope that, in time, you can ALL forgive me and let me return, stronger than ever. I take FULL accountability, I own this, Yours, Adam.’
In the video he added: ‘I know. I’m sorry, I know. You don’t have to tweet me, you don’t have to tell me, you don’t have to call me – I know.
‘All my WhatsApp has been is disappointment from family. I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. Again, to reiterate, I know and I’m sorry.’
But fans took to social media to show their support.
One wrote: ‘Please don’t feel sorry, you went and did your best and more than I could ever dream of. Be kind to yourself and your achievements.’
‘You were a fab contestant which is what it’s about.’
Another said: ‘You were awesome Adam. Honestly awesome – you showed real bravery to go on such a damn tough cooking show, admitting you have very little experience, and still give it your all.’
Celebrity Masterchef is on BBC One, Tuesdays at 9pm, available afterwards on BBC iPlayer.
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