A Masterchef finalist from Woolwich has spoken about his surprise of making it this far in the competition.

Steve Kielty, reached the landmark on his first time of applying for the show.

The DJ and music producer said it took years of being encouraged to apply before giving it a go.

He said: “It was never really something I thought to do. It was my sister who kept telling me to go for it, it took her a few years but she has changed my life because this is something I will never forget and I will always be grateful.

“I didn’t go into it with any expectation, I was happy enough to make it to the quarter final let alone this far.”

Steve, who moved to the area four years ago, has cooked dishes that have impressed judges Gregg Wallace and John Torode including a pea and ricotta tortellini and a Hannibal Lector-inspired lamb with fava beans.

The 40-year-old said the first day of filming took him by surprise because it was not in the famous studio.

He said: “It was because we had the market challenge. That threw me, it was genuinely stressful.

“I was so nervous walking up to Gregg and John to give them my food because they are well known and it is surreal to have them judge my food, it really has been amazing.”

One of the final episodes was filmed in South Africa, and saw contestants cook in The Test Kitchen, a resturant renowned for imaginative dishes. 

Steve said: “Cooking on the BBQ in South Africa was hard. It was intensely hot, they filmed me pouring water over my head but I had to do that more than once. It was 40 degree heat.

“It is not the same if I nip to Sainsbury’s and get a BBQ going at home in Woolwich.”

“It was great to be out there with all the contestants because we have become so close, we are not just rivals, there is a real camaraderie.”

Speaking about Woolwich, Steve has not ruled out the idea of a home-grown restaurant in the future.

He said: “The support has been great you know, I have people coming up to me in the street which can be embarrassing for me but it really is lovely.

“The thought of a local restaurant has crossed my mind, it could always be a pop-up thing.”

Steve plans to have pop ups at festivals in the summer to combine his love of food and music.

When he is at home, Steve likes to eat at Woolwich restaurant The Blue Nile which he says is the best in the area.

He said: “That is the best around I think, and when I am at home I like to cook a simple pasta dish with tomato, something easy and nice. One thing I have learnt is to cook methodically and without mess – which my wife loves.”

MasterChef penultimate episode is tonight at 8pm, and the finale is Friday at 8.30pm on BBC One.