Manu Feildel has opened up about his friendship with former My Kitchen Rules co-star Pete Evans, and revealed his feelings about working alongside a new celebrity chef in the upcoming season.
The pair appeared together as judges on the Channel 7 cooking show for 10 years before it was announced in 2020 that the show was being “rested” amid dismal ratings for its eleventh season.
It was also announced at around the same time that Channel 7 and Pete Evans had “parted ways”, after a series of controversial comments and social media posts by the TV personality.
This Sunday, My Kitchen Rules will finally return with Feildel, 48, back in the judges’ seat – but this time, he’s joined by popular British chef Nigella Lawson.
Speaking on news.com.au’s podcast I’ve Got News For YouFeildel was asked if he missed Evans while shooting the new season.
“Of course, Pete and I have known each other for a long time, we’re still good friends today, so yeah – missing that,” he told host Andrew Bucklow.
“At the same token, you know, it was nice to work with someone new and someone different. The show has been on the shelf for a couple of years, so it was exciting to be working with someone else.”
Evans has been embroiled in controversies in recent years, including being slapped with $25,000 in fines in 2020 by the Therapeutic Goods Administration over magical coronavirus eradication properties he claimed about a “BioCharger” device in a Facebook livestream promotion.
Evans, a prominent paleo diet advocate, has also attracted condemnation for a number of other dubious health claims over the years.
In 2021, the outspoken anti-vaxxer was even kicked off Instagram after sharing misinformation and dangerous claims about Covid-19, just months after being banned from Facebook for the same reason.
Meanwhile, during MKR‘s rest period, Feildel appeared in short-lived Seven cooking series Plate of Originbefore it was announced his original show would be returning in 2022.
Ahead of this week’s premiere, the French TV star also revealed on IGNFY a surprising fact about his famous new co-star.
“(Nigella) can’t use chopsticks,” Feildel said.
“I remember sitting at the table. We had just had chopsticks placed next to the plate and she turned around to me and she whispered in my ear, ‘I don’t know how to use chopsticks’. And I thought it was hilarious!”
My Kitchen Rules returns to Seven on Sunday at 7pm.