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Ready Steady Cook: revamped 90s classic is back on TV this month

Now filmed in Glasgow, Ready Steady Cook has a new host, Celebrity MasterChef finalist Rylan Clark-Neal.

Published: March 2, 2020
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The new series of Ready Steady Cook – which airs its first episode on ­Monday 2 March – will offer up fresh challenges to put the next generation of chefs through their culinary paces.

Hosted by Celebrity MasterChef finalist Rylan Clark-Neal, the reboot will reflect the changes in food and British cooking over the past decade by focusing on budget, healthy ­eating and waste management.

The chefs behind the quick ­culinary creations (ingredients of which will come out of hessian bags rather than their plastic 90s ­counterparts) are Mike Reid, Romy Gill, Akis Petretzikis, Ellis Barrie and Anna Haugh.

Each episode will see two contestants pair up with a chef to ­undertake two challenges. In the first, familiar challenge, each ­contestant will bring their bag of ingredients, all bought within a £10 budget. They’ll have just 20 ­minutes to ­create dishes to impress the ­voting studio audience.

The ­second challenge will involve wildcard ingredients from audience cards, in which the chefs will have only 10 minutes to whip up a meal.

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Carla-Maria Lawson, acting head of BBC Daytime said: “Ready Steady Cook is a celebration of the much loved BBC One daytime show, ­reimagined for contemporary ­Britain. The premise of healthy, ­aspirational food being prepared against the clock will be familiar to the ­audience, as will the ­iconic red tomatoes and green peppers!”

Ready, Steady Cook is one of a few revamped classic shows that Rylan Clark-Neal has recently ­hosted, including Supermarket Sweep.
He said: “When I first got asked to do this show, and it was the same with Supermarket Sweep, I watched every episode that was ever made just to take it all in.

“Being 31, I grew up with this show, it was on TV when you got in from school. So when the BBC asked me to host, I called (former hosts) Fern Britton and Ainsley Harriott and they were both so lovely and ­supportive. It’s been 10 years since the show was on and a lot has changed in the world in that time, which is why were are focusing on things such as sustainability.”

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Rylan added: “Every single chef is totally different, and they’ve got ­different backgrounds, heritage, ­flavours they use, inspirations and different ways of cooking and working with the consultants as well.

“Some chefs prefer the contestant to do the easiest things while some chefs want the contestants to get really involved with hard stuff. It all depends on what’s being cooked for, that changes show by show.”

Despite working differently, something each of the chefs agree on is their fondness for the original show.

Romy Gill said: “When I moved over from India about 26 years ago, the cooking programmes I remember were Ready Steady Cook and The Two Fat Ladies, so it’s surreal and emotional to be on this show.”

Anna Haugh added: “If someone had told me, when I was a little girl, that I was going to be a chef on Ready Steady Cook it would have blown my mind.”

Akis Petretzikis, however, has some inside knowledge as he was the host of the Greek version of the TV show. During filming at BBC Scotland in Glasgow, Romy recalled her time in West Calder, where she lived for more than five years.

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She said: “At first I couldn’t understand anyone and wondered why my husband had brought me here. But I got on so well with my neighbours and still keep in touch with people, they were so generous to me and excited to see where I am now.

“I love Scotland, it’s such a beautiful country and I still remember my first time eating haggis!”

Ready Steady Cook will be on BBC One at 4.30pm every weekday from Monday March 2 and after on BBC iPlayer.

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Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related.

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