Former Westlife star Brian McFadden is hosting brand new celebrity-themed cooking show Who’s Doing the Dishes? and he’s already found his worst celebrity chef in the form of X Factor judge Louis Walsh.
In what is a new show for ITV’s daytime schedule, contestants are invited to a celebrity’s house, given time to snoop around, as well as eat a meal cooked by the celebrity. With those clues to hand, they're later asked to guess as a group who their mystery host is. If they get it wrong, they’re sent into the kitchen to do the dishes.
But that didn’t seem to be what was on their mind with Walsh as their host. “A picture can’t describe how bad the food was. Louis was unfortunately probably the worst I’ve seen,” McFadden tells RadioTimes.com of the X Factor judge’s efforts, which included dishes such as ‘Flying without chicken wings’ in an attempt to help them guess. “They thought it was Mr Bean.”
“It’s the only time we’ve had a meal that everyone sent the whole thing back. They were crying with the hunger after,” McFadden jokes.
Away from the disastrous food, they found some interesting objects around Walsh’s holiday home. As well as a picture of Walsh with a lot of hair, there was a framed picture of Simon Cowell, which he says the music mogul gave all the staff on X Factor when the show wrapped.
Walsh was also keen to chat about their days working on Westlife, joking with McFadden about the time they pulled the wool over Cowell’s eyes. McFadden explains:
“Shane [Filan] almost didn’t make the band. He had brown hair at the time and Simon said, ‘Get rid of all these people’. So they changed Shane’s hair to blonde, he came back – it was just a couple of months later – and Cowell was like, ‘I love the new guy. He’s great, what a singer, fantastic’. Louis didn’t tell Simon until after he’d signed.”
Food aside, Walsh was up for a laugh and was the “most accommodating”. “Not everyone has been amazing," McFadden admits of the hosts. "Some people have been quite difficult. I’m not going to mention names. Maybe it was a clash of personalities…”
This is of course made all the more awkward by the fact that during the meal McFadden sticks with the celebrity, watching the contestants’ reactions on a monitor. They don’t know they’re being watched, so they can be quite brutal with their feedback.
“The celeb starts off saying, ‘They can say what they want, I don’t care’ and as soon as the first meal comes out, they’re like, ‘OH!’ They all turn straight away, they all hate it. Someone was absolutely hating on the furniture and the celeb hated them for the rest of the show. It was a couch, that was it.
“It’s really awkward too when they guess someone and they say, ‘God, I thought they’d live in a nicer house than this’."
But McFadden, who is filming the series into September, is enjoying himself. “I really enjoy the conversations. I’ve learned so much about these people as we’ve gone along.
“I never thought I’d spent a day with Jo Wood in her house chatting about the Rolling Stones!”
See Who’s Doing the Dishes? weekdays from 1 September on ITV