Dicing with the stars
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.