Never upstage the boss. And that rule applies double when your boss is Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger, who has publicly rounded on members of the judiciary for appearing on BBC show MasterChef when it filmed an episode in Middle Temple.
Muscling his way back into the spotlight with a publicity-grabbing speech to Birmingham University law students – which was placed on the judiciary’s website on Friday and immediately picked up by the Guardian and the Telegraph – Neuberger claimed that senior legal figures of the past would have reacted with “horror” to the MasterChef affair.
An insight into the pain that Lincoln’s Inn member Neuberger felt while sitting at home watching his Middle Temple mates have all the fun on TV was apparent as he added: “As for [senior legal figures of the past’s] reaction to my colleague, Lord Justice Stanley Burnton, appearing as an amateur food critic on last week’s episode of MasterChef, the mind boggles.
“It does not bear thinking about what Lord Kilmuir [a 1950s Lord Chancellor who urged judges to remain silent outside of court] would have regarded the most senior judges discussing who peels the potatoes at home, how they shop at Tesco’s, whether they cycle to work, or how they write their judgments, let alone senior judges giving their views on mango and passion fruit crème brûlée.”
Alongside Burnton – who, as Legal Cheek reported, delivered this verdict on the Masterchef contestants’ mango and passion fruit crème brûlée: “Meant to be passion fruit and mango. I didn’t detect the mango and there wasn’t enough passion.” – Mr Justice Langstaff also featured prominently on the episode. The head of the Employment Appeals Tribunal proved a gentler critic than Burnton. Of the mango and passion fruit crème brûlée, he commented: “The pudding was a big ask. They didn’t quite pull it off but hey, who cares, the taste was good. I ate it all.”
Other big legal names who also starred included Leolin Price QC, Rosalind Wright QC, Robert Seabrook QC, Sir George Newman, Sir James Nursaw and, of course, Shami Chakrabarti.
In case you missed it, the episode is still on iPlayer.
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