'MasterChef' food critic Charles Campion dies aged 69

Katie Archer
·3 min read
Food critic Charles Campion with a wedding cake pork and chicken pie at the British Pie Awards, St Marys Church, Melton Mowbray.   (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
Food critic Charles Campion with a wedding-cake pork and chicken pie at the British Pie Awards, St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray. (Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)

MasterChef food critic Charles Campion has died aged 69, his daughter has confirmed.

The food reviewer was known for his many appearances on the BBC cooking contest’s various series and spinoffs, with colleagues including Michel Roux Jr and Jay Rayner paying tribute to him.

On Boxing Day, Campion’s daughter Ashley shared the sad news on Twitter.

She wrote: “Sadly my father Charles Campion passed away on the 23rd December 2020. He was a brilliant father, friend and husband.

“Everyone who came into contact with him came away a little better for it. Love you Dad!”

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Rayner, a regular MasterChef critic alongside Campion, paid tribute to his friend and colleague.

He tweeted: “Charles Campion was a great and lovely man, with a brilliantly droll sense of humour. And boy he knew his subject.

“I held my breath when he was at the @MasterChefUK table to find out whether I’d screwed up a point of detail and he was gently going to put me right. A great loss.”

One of his fellow MasterChef guest critics Tracey MacLeod tweeted: “Sad news about Charles Campion, the most knowledgeable, courtly and clear-eyed of colleagues around the @MasterChefUK critics table.

“He lived for his family & talked about them often during breaks in filming, when he wasn’t grumbling about dessert parsley. We will miss you CC.”

Michel Roux Jr tweeted: “Very sad indeed, his knowledge was as wide as his smile, a true gentleman and an honour to have cooked for him.”

Campion was known for his dislike of overly fussy food, as well as for championing small businesses and restaurants.

He wrote seven editions of the Rough Guide to London Restaurants, his recipe books included three cookery books with Greek chef Theodore Kyriakou, and a food memoir, Fifty Recipes To Stake Your Life On.

Campion also wrote restaurant reviews for a number of newspapers and magazines, as well as being a regular guest judge on MasterChef and Celebrity MasterChef.

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