You’re sitting on your sofa in Wandsworth, south-west London, watching telly. What can you see?


A flatscreen telly. Big, but not massive. They look a bit rubbish, massive tellies. We’re on a U-shaped sofa and we all have our little positions and we snuggle into one. My wife Tana is on my left, then Bruno the dog, [15-year-old] Tilly’s next to me and [17-year-old] Jack is down the end because his feet are the smelliest.

What sort of dog is Bruno?

Erm. We’ve got Rumpole the British bulldog, and Bruno is... [Shouts to his PA] Justin, what kind of dog is Bruno, please? Cocker spaniel? Can we ask Tana?

You don’t know what breed your dog is?

No, it’s just Bruno. Sorry.

Poor Bruno. So what does your living room look like? White and modern and chef-y?

No, no. We’ve got a dark, cherry wood floor. There’s a beautiful black-and-white picture of Michael Caine and Mick Jagger over the fireplace. And we’ve got an amazing Cindy Crawford picture, from floor to ceiling. She reminds me of Tana.

Who chooses the pictures in your house?

A bit of both. I like black-and-white, and I mix and match them, and then I go off to LA and Tana moves it all around. I come home and think we’ve been robbed, but she’s just moved it all upstairs.

Does the family eat while you’re watching telly?

No, that’s pretty gross. Also the sofa is off-white, which is bad enough with the dog on there, so no food. I like to eat properly, hold conversations, divide and conquer, find out who’s doing what, who’s fallen behind at parents’ evening, and then retire to the sofa, with a drink.

What’s the drink?

A glass of rioja, a beautiful red wine.

Do you watch cooking programmes or do you want to switch off from the food world?

Last night it was 24 Hours in A&E. I love that programme because you get to see real people working hard, and what they do as a career. It’s incredible. I love documentaries. It’s really important for me to do a big passion project now and again. I do the big shiny-floor thing but every
time I do one of those, I then need to do a documentary. And the next one is probably the toughest I’ve ever done. I can’t say much about it now but it involves wearing hidden cameras and it was hard.

Do you ever watch television in bed?

Oh no, no, no, no, no, no. No.

You have only one TV set – doesn’t that cause a lot of family arguments?

Yeah. I’ll be watching Super Sunday on Sky Sports. It will be Man United against Chelsea, there’ll be ten minutes to go, and then Tilly will put Matilda and the Ramsay Bunch [Tilly’s CBBC cooking show, which also features the rest of the family] on. And I’m going, “What are you doing?” And then we’re stuck watching that and I don’t know the final score.

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She’s got Dad wrapped round her little finger then...

She has, unfortunately, yes. Nightmare.

Your new ITV show, Culinary Genius, is on during the day. That’s a first for you, isn’t it?

Nobody told me it was daytime. I’ve never done that before.

Will you manage not to swear?

They’re going to have to call it Morse Code. Bleep bleep bleep!


Culinary Genius begins on Easter Monday at 3.25pm on ITV