Dic­ing with the stars

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television - DAVID CRAD­DOCK Ready Steady Cook, TDT, week­days, 2pm

FOR a hum­ble day­time cook­ing show, Ready

Steady Cook has pro­duced an in­or­di­nate amount of stars.

Dur­ing the past six years some of Aus­tralia’s big­gest celebrity chefs – Ge­orge Calom­baris, Manu Feildel and To­bie Put­tock among them – have had the chance to hone their on-screen skills in its re­laxed and play­ful for­mat.

Now much-loved Aus­tralian co­me­dian Colin Lane ( pic­tured), one half of re­tired com­edy duo Lano And Wood­ley, has taken over from Peter Everett as the show’s host.

More at home on the stage, Lane is hop­ing his first TV host­ing gig will al­low him to per­fect his small-screen tal­ents.

‘‘ That’s what I like about the show, I’m learn­ing the craft of TV, pre­sent­ing and be­ing en­ter­tain­ing and ad-lib­bing on a reg­u­lar ba­sis,’’ he says. ‘‘ But also the au­di­ence is learn­ing about me.’’

Part of the ap­peal of Everett’s host­ing style was his ten­dency to ask chefs the sim­ple ques­tions that ev­ery­day view­ers were pon­der­ing at home.

Given that one of his favourite in­gre­di­ents is mince, Lane says he’ll also be ask­ing for plenty of easy ex­pla­na­tions.

‘‘ It’s very sim­i­lar to what peo­ple used to say at school,’’ he says.

‘‘ If you don’t know some­thing, ask the teacher be­cause it’s guar­an­teed that there’ll be at least 50 per cent of the class that doesn’t know the an­swer ei­ther.’’

Lane is also un­der no il­lu­sions about his own culi­nary skills.

‘‘ I’m a food plan­ner,’’ Lane laughs. ‘‘ If I or­gan­ise, de­cide, buy, come back and put things on the bench then my wife is quite happy to cook.

‘‘ I’m not re­ally a foodie. I don’t seek out and get over­joyed with new fancy restau­rants in Mel­bourne or Syd­ney. I do like go­ing to them, but if a new one opens I don’t go ‘ we must go to High­fa­lutin in Collins St’. A lot of what I do is based around mince. Bolog­naise, shep­herd’s pie and savoury mince.’’

Hav­ing a co­me­dian sur­rounded by food – and po­ten­tial dis­as­ters – should make for re­fresh­ing tele­vi­sion in a mar­ket now bloated with menu melo­dra­mas.

‘‘ I like to muck around and, I don’t know whether the pro­duc­ers like this, but I do like to de­con­struct the el­e­ments of TV,’’ Lane says.

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