AS ONE of the 12 foodie entrepreneurs put through their paces by famously sweary and permanently grumpy Glasgow chef Gordon Ramsay on his new TV show, Michelle Maddox could be forgiven for feeling a little terrified.

However, the Lanarkshire-born clootie dumpling producer was not at all fazed.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

“Gordon is completely different on screen than he is off,” she explains.

“I love Gordon - I expect he's a very good dad and husband. He may come across as gruff and unapproachable, but he is a real teddy bear when the cameras stop rolling.”

Michelle smiles: "I think he liked the fact that I was also Scottish, and I know he liked my clootie dumpling when I sent it down for him to taste before the show started.

"He's welcome to visit me any time he is filming in Scotland.”

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

Michelle made it to week five of the show, billed as “Masterchef-meets-The Apprentice-meets-Dragon’s-Den," in which Gordon pushes the 12 entrepreneurs to their limits through a series of relentless challenges to test their character and business acumen. The person who impresses him most will win £150,000 (of his own money) to invest in their business.

Michelle, 46, admits she had no idea what she was signing up for when she put herself forward for the BBC One show.

“I assumed it would simply be a cookery programme of sorts,” she laughs. “Instead, we were being told to carry out the most unbelievable tasks, from jumping off cliffs to caving and abseiling.

“It pushed me to the limit, that's for sure. I was a non-adrenaline, safe, secure and risk-free person. I did not like heights, darkness, confined places, hiking, cold water, water in my face or trying new activities.”

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

She laughs: “How boring. I am so thankful I never knew what was ahead of me and I loved every moment.”

Michelle runs Clootie McToot, a shop, café and kitchen dedicated to traditional Scottish clootie dumplings. It produces 1500 puddings a week, and the range includes specially packaged dumplings (once eaten, the packing doubles up as a doorstop) in tribute to a host of Scottish celebrities, from Billy Connolly and Doddie Weir to William Wallace.

“I handcraft the Clootie Pudding (clootie dumpling/plum pudding) with a recipe handed down through my family’s generations,” she explains.

“I have also developed a variety of flavoured clootie dumplings following food seasons and trends. I applied for Future Food Stars to win the £150k to help increase manufacturing to meet demand.

“We have buildings to the rear of our current kitchens that we would like to demolish and rebuild into a larger production area.

“This would have enabled me to increase capacity and export to the USA and Canada. I also wanted to attend food events and trade shows in the UK and around the world demonstrating our Scottish heritage.”

She says: “We’re hoping to open a bistro in the summer and are about to launch a range of clootie dumpling tablet.”

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After filming finished on Future Food Stars (it was made last year), Michelle and her family -  husband Alasdair, 44, who is a firefighter and children Alistair, 26, Kyle, 18, Jacob, 16, and 11-year-old Eve – went on an adventure holiday to the Greek island of Kos.

“I loved every minute of it of the holiday,” says Michelle, who grew up in Lanarkshire and now lives in Perthshire.

“I came into my own and even went jet skiing and paragliding with the family. In the past I would have been the one holding the jackets.

"Future Food Stars changed all that. The challenges on the show proved to me that I was capable of anything.”