A TV producer who grew up in Warrington is looking to recruit home cooks for an ITV show starring Rosemary Shrager and John Whaite.

Former St Alban’s RC Primary School pupil Paul Tasker is searching for couples, friends, family members or any other teams of two with a passion for food to take part in the next series of Chopping Block.

If you are selected for the show you would spend a week at Rosemary's cookery school in Tunbridge Wells and compete in numerous culinary challenges for a £1,000 prize.

Paul, who was born in Bewsey and grew up in Dallam, said: "We don’t mind what the pairing is as long as they both think of themselves as good, solid cooks.

"We're looking for home cooks rather than professionals."

Filming for Chopping Block takes place between mid October and November.

The show is then expected to air in spring 2017 with 20 episodes shown over a month.

Each week three pairs of cooks will battle it out in the kitchen from Monday to Friday before one gets the 'chop'.

John Whaite is best known for winning the third series of the Great British Bake Off.

Paul, whose mum Veronica lives in Dallam and sister Anne and brother-in-law Paul live in Orford, said: John felt that Bake Off opened the door.

"It was wonderful to win but it wasn’t an end in itself. This is where the hard work starts to make a successful career as a chef, as the owner of a cookery school and TV star. ITV are thrilled to have him."

Meanwhile, Rosemary Shrager was in BBC's The Real Exotic Marigold Hotel and has just filmed the follow-up, Last Tango in Tokyo.

Paul added: "Rosemary is a big ITV personality as well as being a very well established and talented chef.

"She’s a no nonsense classic British cook who doesn’t suffer fools. She has a heart of gold but she says what she thinks."

So why does Paul think cooking and baking shows have become the obsession of millions of British viewers?

Paul, who is also a keen home cook whose signature dish is roast pork with roast sweet potatoes, feta and herbs, said: "We can relate to it as we’ve all had a go at something. We’ve all had baking disasters.

"I also like how people reveal themselves through their food and through their cookery.

"They eventually tell you what their hopes and dreams are or what they want to achieve or why they started cooking.

"Cooking is a primeval thing I think. You want to feed people and you want to be fed. It’s one of our most important functions which is why I think it is endlessly fascinating.

"It’s about family, it’s about friends – all the important times in your life somehow somewhere are associated with food."

Paul's role on Chopping Block involves overseeing everything from from hiring the teams and casting the show to finalising recipes.

Before this the 56-year-old worked on the likes of Pet Rescue, A Place in the Sun and Dickinson’s Real Deal.

Paul was inspired to work in TV after taking part in a televised debate at the Parr Hall called The Warrington 500 when Roy Jenkins stood against Doug Hoyle for Warrington North MP.

He then got his big opportunity – quite by chance – at a party in London.

He added: "I was invited to a party where there were a lot of people from Channel 4 News.

"I met the unit manager and she gave me my first job as a runner. My first task was to ask Trevor McDonald if he wanted a cup of tea!"

- To apply for Chopping Block, go to shortaudition.com/choppingblock