Carol Vorderman hosts Simon Cowell’s new hunt to find Britain’s best-loved recipe…

How is Food Glorious Food different from other cooking shows?
“It’s different because we’re looking for the best home-cooked dish, rather than the best cook. This show is about people’s lives as much as it’s about food – many come with recipes that have been passed down through several generations of their family, and we hear their stories.”

Who have been your favourite contestants?
“There’s been such variety in all the heats across the UK. We had a fireman who came in his fire engine with all his mates and made a Thai green curry, which was delicious. Then we had a 92 year old, who’s been making Cornish pasties every day since she was eight.”

Simon Cowell is behind this project – can viewers expect the controversy of shows like The X Factor?
“Judges Tom Parker Bowles, Loyd Grossman, Anne Harrison and Stacie Stewart do have rows over which dish to put through in each of the six heats and semi-finals. Then the public decides on the winning dish, which will be sold in M&S. I certainly argue with the judges if there’s a dish I like. But this is a gentle show, like Antiques Roadshow – it’s not The X Factor of food!”

Have you been eating a lot during the heats?
“Yes, everything! I can start with a pudding, then eat a curry, then another pudding, then eat a cake. We can see up to 100 people in a day, which is a lot of food to eat. Some days I’m completely stuffed!”

Are there recipes that have been passed on in your family?
“My mother moved to Holland in 1947 and one of my favourite meals growing up was Mum’s special fried rice, influenced by the Dutch East Indies. She’s an awful cook now – she heard the ‘ping’ of her first microwave in 1987 and stopped using the hob!”

Do you enjoy cooking now?   
“My stepfather was a Prisoner of War from Italy, so I’ve always enjoyed making pasta, but I don’t have the time to cook as much as I used to. I do make a good bread and butter pudding but I tasted one on this show that was much better than mine. There was quite a lot of rum in it!”

Food Glorious Food starts on Wednesday February 27 at 8pm on ITV.