UPDATED: Saints favourite Christian is feeling the heat in MasterChef kitchen

More telly torture as former Franklin's Gardens forward faces semi-final tonight

Northampton Saints favourite Christian Day admits the heat in the MasterChef kitchen is like nothing he has faced before.

The former forward helped the Green, Black and Gold to Aviva Premiership glory in front of 81,000 fans at Twickenham in 2014 and a won a couple of European Challenge Cup finals during a ten-year Saints career.

Yet surviving knockout week on the telly show in front of judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace was another level.

Christian lines up among the final seven chefs on BBC1 tonight (Wednesday April 8) in the second of the week's semi-final shows after cooking up some tasty canapés and then serving up a three-course meal for 120 Royal Navy sailors in the galley of warship HMS Diamond.

But the Franklin's Gardens favourite admitted: “Knockout week was intense with so many great chefs in the room.

"Cooking in the MasterChef kitchen is very different to cooking at home. It’s hard to describe until you’ve actually done it. That’s why you see so many contestants getting emotional on screen.

MasterChef is on BBC1 at 9pm tonight and 8.30pm on Thursday. Catch all the previous episodes on BBC iPlayer.

Saints favourite Christian Day is back on MasterChef tonight

"This is a level of cooking that I've never really cooked at before. I tend to perform OK under pressure but I'd be lying if I said I'm not nervous.

"To get to say that I am a MasterChef semi-finalist is a huge achievement that I’m really proud of."

Christian, who retired in 2018 and is now a player liaison officer for the Rugby Players Association, 'knocked up' canapés of salmon tartare, apple, smoked cream, pickled mouli, smoked norri salt, pickled sea vegetables, caviar and a sesame tuile — served up on boards crafted by former Saints team-mates Tom Wood and Alex Waller.

The 6ft 5in ex-second row added: "The amount of effort that went into this bite sized morsel I cannot begin to explain.

Christian hard at work in the MasterChef kitchen

"Cooking tiny little things is not the easiest when you have shovels for hands!"

But the judges were impressed and made him one of the first through to the semis.

Judge Gregg said: "Everything really well made and nicely presented.

And Judge John told him: "It was technically perfect and the tastiest thing you've done so far."

Christian in his Saints days alongside second-row partner Courtney Lawes

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Christian Day lines up alongside the seven survivors on MasterChef