Change: John Partridge, 48, has told how signing up to do Celebrity MasterChef helped him in kicking his cocaine addiction as he found a passion for cooking (pictured in December 2019)

John Partridge has told how signing up to do Celebrity MasterChef helped him in kicking his cocaine addiction as he found a passion for cooking.

The former EastEnders star, 48, was crowned the winner of the 2018 series of the show and revealed getting into the kitchen helped him to change his habit.

Speaking to The Mirror, John said he first went to Narcotics Anonymous meetings which he eventually left and then asked his agent to sign him up for MasterChef.

Change: John Partridge, 48, has told how signing up to do Celebrity MasterChef helped him in kicking his cocaine addiction as he found a passion for cooking (pictured in December 2019)

Change: John Partridge, 48, has told how signing up to do Celebrity MasterChef helped him in kicking his cocaine addiction as he found a passion for cooking (pictured in December 2019)

Recalling how cooking became his distraction when he joined the show, John said: ‘Every day for the next three weeks I’d go to the supermarket instead of going to NA.

‘When it came to that time in the evening – the witching hour – when my husband, Jon, would go to work and I’d be here alone I’d start to get twitchy fingers. So, I’d buy random ingredients and cook. That was how it started.’

The actor said he would use drugs after work as a way of ‘rewarding himself’, with his addiction getting out of control after the death of mother Bridget, aged 80, from dementia and Alzheimer’s. 

The soap star did not have a big emotional upheaval when he decided to quit drugs and simply contacted a friend to ask for help when he knew the time had come to change his life in October 2017.

Champion: The former EastEnders star was crowned the winner of the 2018 series of the cooking show and revealed getting into the kitchen helped him to change his habit

Champion: The former EastEnders star was crowned the winner of the 2018 series of the cooking show and revealed getting into the kitchen helped him to change his habit

John told how his partying began as a teenager when he started to dabble in recreational drug use. 

The actor attended Narcotics Anonymous meetings for three weeks before deciding it was not for him. 

It was then he watched MasterChef on TV and got himself onto the next celebrity series of the show. 

He said: ‘Cooking food from my past helped me reconnect with my present – it reconnected me with that little boy. When I lifted the trophy it was really emotional, because I was having all these revelations about myself and remembering. I suddenly appreciated all of it.’ 

Getting help: John said he first went to Narcotics Anonymous meetings which he eventually left and then asked his agent to sign him up for MasterChef

Getting help: John said he first went to Narcotics Anonymous meetings which he eventually left and then asked his agent to sign him up for MasterChef 

John admitted he was never entirely dependent on alcohol but did have a reliance on cocaine.

The actor, who described cooking as an act of self-care, has parlayed the skills he learned on MasterChef into writing his new book, There’s No Taste Like Home. 

John is best known for his role as Christian Clarke on EastEnders which he played from 2008 to 2012 and again in 2014 to 2016.

The TV star said he loved his time on the show and made lifelong friends with some of his co-stars. 

Family: John said his addiction got out of control after the death of mother Bridget, aged 80, in October 2017 from dementia and Alzheimer's

Family: John said his addiction got out of control after the death of mother Bridget, aged 80, in October 2017 from dementia and Alzheimer’s

However, the former Celebrity Big Brother star has no plans to return to the soap anytime soon as he is thinking about taking a break from acting.

John said he wants to focus on spending time with his husband Jon Tsouras with the couple thinking about fostering children.       

Asked if he ever misses his party days, the actor said he misses the social aspect of it, but not the feeling he would have the morning after.

Forthright as ever, John said you don’t see 70-year-old cocaine addicts, adding that was not the path he wanted to go down for the rest of his life. 

Role: John is best known for his role as Christian Clarke on EastEnders which he played from 2008 to 2012 and again in 2014 to 2016

Role: John is best known for his role as Christian Clarke on EastEnders which he played from 2008 to 2012 and again in 2014 to 2016 

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