My Kitchen Rules

My Kitchen Rules judges reveal the truth behind the show's success: "We were left broken"

“It’s like a marathon!”

By TV Week team
The proof is in the pudding when it comes to the success of My Kitchen Rules. After 10 years on air, the hit cooking show consistently dominates the ratings and keeps viewers coming back year after year.
But behind the impressive track record comes a gruelling work schedule, complete with long hours, late nights and frequent stints away from family – a sacrifice the MKR judges know only too well.
"It's like a marathon," Colin Fassnidge, 45, tells TV WEEK. "It starts off quite nicely. We're away doing challenges and having fun. But then the days get longer and you're like, 'Oh, God!' By the end, we're broken. We all look like we've been in a boxing match."
My Kitchen Rules judges Pete Evans, Colin Fassnidge and Manu Feildel.
Like many working dads, Colin struggles with being away from his family for extended periods.
"My youngest always asks my wife, 'Why is Dad away so much?'" the father-of-two explains.
Manu Feildel suffers from similar "dad guilt", but says he's learning to strike a balance between work and spending time with his two children.
"I'm managing it much better than I used to," the chef explains. "Before, we used to go on the road for weeks at a time. Now, I come back at least every three days. It's hard because there's so much travelling involved."
Manu, 45, says ultimately the sacrifice he makes is worthwhile because it helps provide for his family's future.
"Everything I do is for them," he says. "I left school when I was 15, but now I can pay for my kids to have a private education. That's what I want to do for my kids because I can. I just want the best for them."
The judges are good friends on and off screen.
Meanwhile, the judges' working relationship is under constant scrutiny due to rumours they're secretly embroiled in a bitter feud. Manu says he ignores it.
"It's the same crap all the time," he says.
However, Colin just finds the persistent rumours frustrating.
"Manu and I are seen getting coffee and he has his hand in the air – apparently that means we're having an argument," he says.
"Then, an hour later, we'll post a photo of us at my house having a barbecue. But we still all 'hate each other'."
Pete Evans has a different take on the speculation, regarding it as a symptom of the show's success.
"It's a compliment that they're talking about you," Pete, 45, says.
"If they're not talking about us, then we're doing something wrong. It means the show isn't rating, so we probably wouldn't have a job."
With another year of MKR underway, all signs point towards a hit season. Pete even predicts that this could be the best one yet.
"The food has been absolutely sensational," he says.
Manu adds, "We seem to say every year that we're getting better food, but we really are! And this year, we've given out more 10s than ever before."
To read more about My Kitchen Rules, pick up a copy of the new issue of TV WEEK.
My Kitchen Rules airs Monday to Wednesday, and Sunday, 7pm, Channel Seven.

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