There’s a new morning telly show in town. No, we’re not talking Susanna Reid and her glossy ITV team. Lisa Snowdon and Steve Jones are setting their alarms tonight to broadcast live to your box tomorrow morning as the presenters of Weekend Kitchen – Channel 4’s new lifestyle show with a generous helping of food. Each week will see chefs and celebs grace their sofa as the duo – who are teaming up for the very first time – ease viewers into their weekend.
We caught up with the pair to chat all about live TV mishaps, Patrick Stewart and, er, rat’s brains. Here’s what they had to say…
So, what’s this new show all about…?
Lisa Snowdon: It’s going to be Saturday mornings and we’re going to have a celebrity chef every week – cool chefs like Michael Roux. Steve Jones: I hate the term but “A-listers”. Heston Blumenthal and these guys – they’re big time. And there will also be two celebrities coming in to chat about the projects they’re working on. And lots of VTs and content within the show about what’s going on. Trends, upcycling, gardening… LS: Lobster fishing. SJ: There’s one interesting VT coming up about a snail farm – it has these snails that grow underground and after a three-month period they pour water over the top of this field and overnight 300,000 snails rise to the surface. It’s this weird s**t that happens across Britain that you never hear about.
We’ve heard there’s also going to be a lot of food content (the clue’s in the title) – are you guys foodies already?
LS: Yes, we love food. I’m excited to learn how to cook it a little bit better…
How would you rate your skills in the kitchen?
SJ: Not great. My girlfriend does most of the cooking thankfully but I’m hoping to pick up some tips over the course of the show.
Do you have one impressive dish you can pull out of the bag?
SJ: I’m kind of like a sous chef. If my girlfriend’s cooking I’m chopping and mixing stuff as we go along. I’m not heavily into cooking but that’s one of the best things about being a presenter. I’ve just done a show about hair and I knew nothing about hair. I still know nothing about hair if I’m honest. I know what a chignon is. But as a presenter it’s your job to be the conduit to the viewer and to say “What’s this, what is that? What’s rice?” I’m the idiot on screen – Lisa’s more up there than I am. LS: I would never confess to Michel Roux that I actually know what I’m doing in the kitchen, though. I would just feel so ashamed as he says, “Go on, show us your knife skills”. SJ: She’s my favourite chef, Michelle.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
SJ: I’ve eaten scorpion, tarantula, maggots, cockroaches, alligator. Rat’s brain – that’s the weirdest thing I’ve eaten. I was in the Amazon jungle for four days at that point and I hadn’t eaten and that was the only thing we could catch so we cooked it up and ate its brains. LS: Too much information. I don’t think I’m going to be as adventurous – I don’t like jellied anything. I don’t eat snails or frogs legs or anything freaky deaky like that.
How are you going to stand apart from your morning rivals, Saturday Kitchen?
SJ: That’s more like a cooking show. Tim and Simon do a great job, it’s a great show, but this is Steve and Lisa. LS: It’s a whole other chemistry. We’re going to have really interesting segments, really cool artisan people, people who are really specialist in their field.
Who’s your dream guest?
SJ: Celebs are my neck of the woods – I’ve always enjoyed interviewing actors and musicians. Patrick Stewart is the person I’d most like to get in. I saw him on a red carpet once at the Baftas and I almost s**t myself with joy. I felt my body breaking down. I’m a big Star Trek fan and Next Generation’s my all-time favourite show and his portrayal of Jean Picard is just amazing. He’s never far from my thoughts, Patrick. I’ve always thought if I see him in a bar in Soho I’ll send over a bottle of champagne and get the waitress to say, “It’s from the guy over there. He says thank you for Picard.”
You’ve both done a lot of live telly in the past – do you still get nervous?
SJ: Absolutely. I think you’d be mental not to. It’s always scary doing live TV because there’s no take two. You’ve got to roll with the mistakes. As long as you don’t swear or accidentally expose yourself, it can be funny when you mess up. I always think of it as being around my mother – I would never swear in front of my mother. It’s like a switch flips in your head, I just don’t. It’s exactly the same with live TV – I would never even consider using the F-bomb.