By Cara Dudgeon

17th March 2020

Ainsley Harriott has sent his support to Rylan Clark-Neal following the Ready Steady Cook reboot

Image Source/ BBC

The 63-year-old chef – who hosted the cooking show from 2000 to 2010 – has praised the 31-year-old presenter for giving the programme a modern revamp, and has been in contact with the presenter about the series.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror newspaper, he said:

‘Rylan has been in touch and I went back to him and said: “Keep going, be positive”‘.

Ainsley took over the role from Fern Britton, and is delighted the show is back after 10 years off-air.

He said:

‘It’s lovely, it’s back. It’s a fantastic format – a bag of ingredients, 20 minutes later you’ve got a meal’.

The 20-episode series will see contestants paired with a chef each to go head-to-head in a series of challenges to reflect contemporary ways of cooking, from budget meals to healthy food.

It will also feature a number of up-and-coming chefs, including Mike Reid, Romy Gill, Akis Petretzikis, Ellis Barrie and Anna Haugh.

And Ainsley is thrilled the BBC One show is challenging viewers by using “modern day” ingredients.

He added:

‘It’s reflecting how we eat today.

‘We want to be challenged a little bit. You go, “Ooh, what’s that?” And you do look it up. Most of us are getting our phones out going, “Sumac? Ooh, citrus-y flavours, spicy. Yum. I’ll try a bit of that.” And it’s one click away. It’s modern-day’.

Ainsley previously claimed Ready Steady Cook would trump shows like Great British Bake Off and MasterChef in the ratings war because the key to its appeal was that cooking was done in “real time”.

Before the show’s return, he explained:

‘A lot of people would like to see it back – it was a fantastic programme. I think it was one of the most natural cooking programmes on TV. You saw the ingredients and it was in real time.

MasterChef and all of them, they never do it in real time. If things went wrong, you saw them go wrong. It had an energy of its own. I’d love it to come back as it identifies with a nation of people’.

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