Marco Pierre White: ‘I don’t watch TV’

Celebrity chef Marco Pierre White has revealed he does not own a television as he prepares to star in a new Channel 5 show.

The restaurateur, who put stars through their paces in Hell’s Kitchen and will now be the face of Channel Five’s Kitchen Wars, said having a TV would bring people he disliked into his home.

He said: “I prefer to have conversation. I prefer to read. I prefer to play chess. Also, there are certain people I don’t like in this world and why do I want them in my front room? It’s as simple as that. I won’t mention any names.

“You’re sitting there having a bit of peace and someone pops in your room. I can’t imagine anything worse. What’s he doing there? What’s she doing there?”

He said he chanced upon an episode of reality show Dancing On Ice while in a hotel room in Liverpool, and added: “I was horrified by it. I thought to myself, ‘Who would want to watch this show?'”

But Marco Pierre, 50, who was once known for his fiery temper and who has famously feuded with Gordon Ramsay, conceded that television has had both a positive and negative effect on his industry.

He added: “It’s put chefs on television, which has inspired the nation, one to care about provenance of food and secondly to want to cook. The food in Britain today is better than it’s ever been, whether it’s in restaurants or at home.

“People’s passion for food is far greater than it’s ever been in this country and that’s because of the media and because of the chefs.

“The down side of that is it’s pulled great chefs away from their stoves. When you go to their restaurants you’re paying extortionate prices and they’re not in the kitchen. It’s a double-edged sword.”

Leeds-born Marco Pierre won three Michelin stars by the age of 33, but renounced them in 1999.

Kitchen Wars will see him sort through hundreds of couples who run restaurants to find the winning pair.