St Albans man appears on popular BBC programmes twice in one week

PUBLISHED: 13:00 27 February 2019 | UPDATED: 13:22 27 February 2019

Raff and Anne outside of their semi-detached property in St Albans on the Best House in Town. Picture: Sidney Street Productions

Raff and Anne outside of their semi-detached property in St Albans on the Best House in Town. Picture: Sidney Street Productions

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A St Albans man appeared on the small screen in two popular BBC competitions over the space of three days.

Raff on MasterChef. Picture: BBCRaff on MasterChef. Picture: BBC

Raff Agalliu appeared on BBC One twice last week - on Best House in Town on February 19 and MasterChef on February 21.

The 36-year-old was first shown in his semi-detached construction themed property as part of a new competition which pitted proud homeowners against each other.

He appeared alongside his wife, Anne Timpany, with whom he runs a mechanical engineering company.

On the show, she said: “When people come into our house for the first time, the reaction is usually ‘oh, wow, I have never seen this before’.

Raff on MasterChef. Picture: BBCRaff on MasterChef. Picture: BBC

“All the houses in St Albans look so similar from the outside, so I wanted people to come into a space that they weren’t expecting.”

Albanian Raff moved to London in 2006 and then to St Albans about four years later.

The couple were contacted for inclusion in the competition through Instagram after posting snaps of their home-bar and open plan ground floor.

Judge Emma Bustamante commented: “They are not afraid to mix their metals and the longer I stand here, I more I am loving the stark utilitarian of the stainless steel in the kitchen compared to the lovely soft ceramics.”

John Torode and Gregg Wallace on MasterChef. Picture: Production Shine TV LtdJohn Torode and Gregg Wallace on MasterChef. Picture: Production Shine TV Ltd

Raff and Anne did not win their episode - however, just two days later Raff was once again in the limelight on series 15 of MasterChef.

Anne had put him up for the cooking contest as a surprise, but Raff found out after she accidentally entered a wrong email address and he was sent an alert.

He whipped up a mushroom ragù and polenta in the first round, and two Albanian courses for the second round.

Raff said: “Cooking to me means family. The heart of the house is the kitchen and that is where we all gather together to eat and cook and talk. So to us, cooking means life.”

L-R St Albans Judges: Kuldip, Olwyn, Randa, Dean and Emma. Picture: Sidney Street ProductionsL-R St Albans Judges: Kuldip, Olwyn, Randa, Dean and Emma. Picture: Sidney Street Productions

Unfortunately, judges Gregg Wallace and John Torode found his presentation lacking, and he did not make it through to the next round.

Raff, who described himself as normally “very reserved”, said: “It was a surreal experience, just watching myself back [in the two programmes]. I was getting phone calls and texts from people I haven’t spoken to in years and the kids were watching it on TV.”

He said he loves to relax by cooking with his three young children.

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