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Ross Burden is dead

Ross Burden, the celebrity chef famous for his appearances on BBC shows including MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook, has died aged 45 after losing a year-long battle against cancer. Burden was diagnosed with leukemia in July last year and died in his native New Zealand. It is thought his condition had worsened after undergoing an unsuccessful bone marrow transplant, which led to an infection. Burden rose to fame after making it to the finals of MasterChef in 1993. He appeared several times on Ready Steady Cook alongside Ainsley Harriott, and went on to publish several recipe books. He returned to New Zealand in 2010 to join the judging panel on the country's first MasterChef series. His fellow judge Simon Gault told the New Zealand Herald: "He was great to work with. He was never a minute without a laugh or a joke, great sense of humour." Other celebrity chefs and presenters took to Twitter to express their sadness over Burden's death. Sue Perkins, the host of the Great British Bake Off, tweeted: "So sad to hear about Ross Burden. He gamely endured our daytime prattings on light lunch for years. A joy to be around. A proper gent. RIP."

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