Manu Feildel has admitted he thought his TV career was over when he was dropped by Channel Seven in 2020 after Plate of Origin flopped in the ratings. The celebrity chef, 48, told The Daily Telegraph’s Confidential, he was shocked when he received a call from the network for the upcoming season of My Kitchen Rules.

‘I thought that was it. We stopped MKR three years ago, we did Plate of Origin and then Covid happened, so I lost my job at Channel Seven,’ Manu explained. ‘I thought perhaps this is the end of my TV career, and so move on and do something else.’

In 2020, its eleventh season drew an average of 500,000 metro viewers per episode. At its height in 2014, the fifth season had attracted an average audience of 1.891 million across the five major cities.

‘Then suddenly I got the call from Channel Seven saying we are coming back and I was like “wow”,’ he added. MKR had once been a ratings juggernaut for Seven, but its popularity nosedived in recent years as viewers flocked to Channel Nine’s Married At First Sight instead.

The cooking show was previously hosted by Manu, Pete Evans and Colin Fassnidge.In April it was announced that home-cooking sensation Nigella Lawson would replace Evans as a judge on a revamped new season of My Kitchen Rules.

The best-selling author is travelling around the country with Manu as they critique a new batch of passionate home cooks. It came after Channel Seven’s cooking show Plate of Origin’s flopped in the ratings.

Only 335,000 metro viewers tuned in to watch the finale – the lowest figure of an already disappointing season.

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