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Last Updated: Monday, 7 June, 2004, 09:01 GMT 10:01 UK
Ex-soap star wins Hell's Kitchen
Jennifer Ellison with Gordon Ramsay
Ellison's culinary skills were praised by chef Gordon Ramsay
Former soap star Jennifer Ellison has been crowned champion celebrity chef on ITV1 reality show Hell's Kitchen.

The 21-year-old ex-Brookside actress squealed with delight as host Angus Deayton announced the winner of the public vote on Sunday evening.

As she celebrated with champagne, Ellison said: "I can't believe it, I didn't know how to boil an egg."

She was among 10 contestants who had spent two weeks being taught kitchen skills by fiery chef Gordon Ramsay.

Ellison said: "This was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.

"But it is probably one of the best things I have ever done in my life. I have learned so much."

Ramsay said of her: "She is going to go on and become phenomenally successful.

Matt Goss (left) with runner-up James Dreyfus
Matt Goss (left) and James Dreyfus were gracious in defeat
"She has been a complete surprise, the best cook in the house."

Former Bros singer Matt Goss, 35, was ejected from the show on Sunday, leaving just Ellison and runner-up James Dreyfus, 35, to battle for the crown.

Goss described the experience as "an emotional rollercoaster", while Dreyfus said: "It would've been unjust if I had won - I'm an appalling cook."

The other contestants had included former government minister Edwina Currie, comic Al Murray, TV presenter Abi Titmuss, ex-Coronation Street actress Amanda Barrie, US singer Belinda Carlisle, athlete Dwain Chambers and DJ Tommy Vance.

Ramsay, who runs London's only three-star Michelin restaurant, Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea, paid tribute to the contestants.

He said: "It has been really difficult, but in the second week, we turned the corner."

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