It’s strictly bor­ing . . .

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Front Page - COLIN VICK­ERY

Mer­cu­rio’s Menu Chan­nel 7, Satur­day, 5pm Feast for food lovers Du­ra­tion: 30 min­utes

NOTH­ING would crush a TV star’s ego more than be­ing sacked for be­ing bor­ing, but that’s ex­actly what hap­pened to Paul Mer­cu­rio in Au­gust. Mer­cu­rio was dumped from

two weeks be­fore its eighth sea­son. He was gut­ted by the de­ci­sion and sus­pected an un­named Seven ex­ec­u­tive, who had told him his judg­ing style was bor­ing.

‘‘To be the only one to go, I can’t help won­der­ing why it was me,’’ he said at the time. ‘‘Of course that per­son had a hand in it.’’

Eight months later, the 46-year-old fa­ther of three says he has moved on from the dis­ap­point­ment of Chan­nel 7’s de­ci­sion. He re­mains a judge on the New Zealand ver­sion of and his home-grown show for food lovers,

is a rat­ings suc­cess.

It is ironic the very thing that makes Mer­cu­rio such a good fit for a laid-back au­then­tic­ity— is prob­a­bly the thing that saw him dumped from There wasn’t much room for ‘‘nice’’ amid the over­the-top an­tics of Todd McKen­ney, He­len Richey, Mark Wil­son and flam­boy­ant guest judge Bruno To­lioni.

‘‘One of the rea­sons I went when they de­cided to change the for­mat of the show is I wasn’t play­ing a char­ac­ter, I was just be­ing me,’’ he says. ‘‘Per­haps that wasn’t in­ter­est­ing enough.’’

Paul Mer­cu­rio

is do­ing well, how­ever. The lat­est se­ries has ex­panded be­yond Vic­to­ria to take in the Hunter Val­ley, Syd­ney’s Cabra­matta, Kan­ga­roo Is­land, Townsville and even New Zealand.

The travel com­po­nent has been ramped up and the dishes sim­pli­fied.

‘‘It’s not a cook­ing show, it’s more of a foodie show,’’ Mer­cu­rio says. ‘‘It’s a show you can watch with a beer or a wine and spend half an hour re­lax­ing and get­ting a bit of in­spi­ra­tion.’’

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