John Partridge believes his late mother was "an angel" on his shoulder during the "Celebrity MasterChef" final.
The former "EastEnders" star was left heartbroken by the death of his mother Bridget, who passed away on 13 April 2017 after living with Alzheimer's disease for seven years, and it was exactly one year on that he was crowned the winner of the cooking show, beating Spencer Matthews and Martin Bayfield to the coveted title.
The three-course meal that swayed judges John Torode and Greg Wallace was John's "There's No Taste Like Home" menu which consisted of a starter of scallops with Bury black pudding, a main of Lancashire lamb hotpot rounded off by an egg custard tart for pudding and he could feel the love of his mum as he prepared the dishes.
Speaking on "Loose Women" on Monday (1.10.18), John said: "It was an amazing experience from beginning to end. My mum passed away on April 13th 2017 and I won "MasterChef" on April 13th 2018 ... so when I went in for that final cook, I definitely had an angel on my shoulder.
"You know I took her wooden spoon with me, I know she was there, she was stirring that custard."
The 47-year-old actor - who quit his job on "EastEnders" to look after Bridget and went on "Celebrity Big Brother" in 2016 to get the money to pay for her to have professional care when her condition worsened - was also recognising a significant landmark in his life on the ITV daytime show as it has been exactly a year since he got sober.
John admits his alcoholism and substance abuse got out of control after his mother died because he didn't know how to cope with his loss, but he's know clean and healthy.
He said: "I'm one year sober today. For the first two weeks, I would just go to a supermarket, I'd buy ingredients and I'd come home and cook to distract myself.
"I said, I want to do that programme ... I was doing "The Real Full Monty" and "MasterChef" at the same time and I just started talking. That's all it was. I talked about having cancer and just the talking about it, what I'm so grateful [about is] that they allowed me to continue that conversation on "MasterChef". They allowed me through the programme to keep talking."
And John admits his journey on "MasterChef was very cathartic because many of the dishes he cooked allowed him to relive many happy memories from his childhood.
He shared: "When I started cooking on the show and remembering and going back, cooking the food from my past has helped me to live in the present. In my present. Going back and remembering that cheese and onion pie with my mum and that custard tart and that Lancashire hotpot and that black pudding. It reminded me of being that person and I'm so grateful for it."