MasterChef Singapore to be in English

Following the kerfuffle over the announcement that the inaugural Singapore version of MasterChef would air in Mandarin on Chinese language Channel 8, the reality television series will now air in English on Channel 5 instead.

According to a press release sent by Motion Content Group, which acquired the rights to produce MasterChef Singapore: "As English rights were originally not available, the show was set to air on Channel 8. However, following further negotiations, MasterChef Singapore will now air for Singapore viewers on Channel 5 in English and reach a more diverse audience."

In February, news that the inaugural local edition of hit cooking television show MasterChef will be aired in Mandarin caused a stir as Singaporeans felt that it would alienate non-Chinese-speaking participants and viewers.

Local TV broadcaster Mediacorp, which runs Channel 5 and Channel 8, had published an online casting call for contestants at the time, asking potential applicants to rate their fluency in Mandarin.

The language condition did not sit well with many who believe that the show should be produced in English instead so that it can better involve everyone in multi-ethnic Singapore.

According to the Motion Content Group press release, the deadline for the casting call has now been extended until midnight on Friday. The Mandarin-fluency rating question has since been removed.

The MasterChef cooking competition format, which originated in the United Kingdom in 1990 and has seen local spin-offs produced in more than 40 countries, pits amateur cooks against one another in various challenges.

There is no air date yet for MasterChef Singapore but the show is set to premiere later this year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 03, 2018, with the headline 'MasterChef Singapore to be in English'. Print Edition | Subscribe