Half-baked

TV Times - - Real Life - Be Your Own Doc­tor MON­DAY / C4 / 8.30PM Vicki Power

health his time last year we watched Dr Ta­mal Ray ty­ing on his pinny in prepa­ra­tion for the 2015 fi­nal of

The Great Bri­tish Bake Off.

But 12 months on from be­com­ing a run­ner-up, Ta­mal – whose day job is se­nior house of­fi­cer in in­ten­sive care at Manch­ester’s Wythen­shawe Hos­pi­tal – is gear­ing up for an­other ma­jor chal­lenge.

Ta­mal is the co-host, with Kate Quil­ton, of Be Your Own Doc­tor, a new C4 health show that aims to help view­ers fig­ure out which health ad­vice we read on the in­ter­net is sen­si­ble, and which is just plain silly.

TV Times caught up with Ta­mal, 30, on his way out of theatre to ask about his switch from cake-bak­ing to TV pre­sent­ing, and whether he’s still whip­ping up lus­cious treats in his down­time…

TIs pre­sent­ing your first TV show more or less scary than be­ing on The Great Bri­tish Bake Off? Bake Off is a bap­tism of fire – both be­ing on telly and the stress of the com­pe­ti­tion – but fun as well. Pre­sent­ing a TV show is a whole new chal­lenge – I was ner­vous, but it was great to have the con­fi­dence my med­i­cal back­ground gives me. I love health and sci­ence and so this show is a per­fect fit and

I can work it around my day job. What’s the aim of the show?

It’s to take a more crit­i­cal look, in a light-hearted way, at some of the health claims that are out there on the in­ter­net. We’re try­ing to in­form the pub­lic a bit about how to know good sci­ence from bad sci­ence. These days, pa­tients come into the GP’S surgery with pre­con­cep­tions about their con­di­tion and how it should be treated. The doc­tor’s job is to point peo­ple in the right di­rec­tion. If you sep­a­rate the good from the bad, there’s great stuff on the in­ter­net – just re­cently I changed a tyre for the first time us­ing Youtube. You meet new mums who have their pla­cen­tas made into pills they said gave them en­ergy. Was that a ridicu­lous idea? Some of the claims that get made are too good to be true and, yes, I am gen­er­ally a scep­ti­cal per­son. We had the pills tested and I was re­ally sur­prised by how lit­tle iron there ac­tu­ally was in them. The women were, too.

In test­ing out plaque re­moval sub­stances, Kate tried the celebrity fad of ‘pulling’ [that is, swill­ing] co­conut oil in the mouth. What hap­pened?

I felt bad for Kate. I def­i­nitely got Dr Ta­mal Ray and Kate Quil­ton (main pic­ture), and Ta­mal on Bake Off (in­set)

lucky just chew­ing gum while she had to swill this gunk for 20 min­utes a day. I’d never heard of pulling be­fore, yet I’ve since found out it’s an an­cient Ayurvedic In­dian rem­edy – and I’m In­dian! But that seg­ment is quite em­bar­rass­ing for me – it’s to do with how well I brush my teeth. And how do you feel about

Bake Off mov­ing to C4?

I feel pretty good about it.

I’m def­i­nitely one of the show’s big­gest fans – I have an en­cy­clopaedic knowl­edge of ev­ery se­ries. My feel­ing is that af­ter seven se­ries, some­thing has to change. Oth­er­wise, like with any­thing, we would get bored of it even­tu­ally. Are you still find­ing time to bake? I’m still do­ing a fair bit. Over the sum­mer, I made two wed­ding cakes that were proper show­stop­pers, al­though I had a calamity when one fell over in the car two min­utes from the re­cep­tion. I was scream­ing, but I man­aged to res­cue it in the end.

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IS RE­VIEWED ON PAGES 52-53

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