Network Ten is planning a radical revamp of its 11-year-old hit cooking program Master Chef.
Fresh from cutting loose the current three hosts, the network plans a completely new format for the show.
Director of reality programs for Network Ten, Tess Tickle, told The Bug the new format would more closely reflect viewer preferences.
“The changes have nothing to do with current hosts Matt Preston, George Calombaris, and that other guy nobody – not even I – can ever name (main picture),” Ms Tickle said.
“It wasn’t about their contract payments, although I must admit when they lobbed a demand for a 40% rise we did take the opportunity of George’s recent problems with underpayment of his restaurant staff to make a counter-offer of $40 an hour which he and Matt and that other guy rejected outright.
“No, the fact remains that for far too long Ten has stuck with the idea of building the show around the concept of people cooking their own meals which then encourages viewers to try the same for themselves at home.
“In reality more people are sitting at home on their fat arses using mobile phone apps to buy in their meals.
“In almost all cases this means a local eatery gets milked by a hugely undeserved booking fee from the app administrator, they are forced to cut wages and conditions for their kitchen staff, and then some poor, underpaid bastard has to literally get on their bike and pedal through dangerous and darkened streets to deliver the meals.
“Those people are usually employed under what we now call the Calombaris model. They are engaged as contractors so they can be paid a pittance and receive none of the benefits of a PAYE employee.
“Yet people sitting at home still support this business model. In fact we’ve all seen those TV ads with highly paid Aussie celebrities like Ray Martin, Rebel Wilson, Lee Lin Chin, and that Toadie guy from Network Ten’s Neighbours show spruiking Uber Eats or the like.
“So Ten has decided to capitalise on that and the new Master Chef will be like a blend of the current show and Gogglebox.
“It will consist entirely of a camera showing people in their own homes watching TV and using a mobile phone app to order, wait for, receive, then eat their meals.
“Of course if that format doesn’t work we will quickly swap back to the old idea of having in-studio cooking by contestants overseen by three hosts.
“If that happens, we already have contingency plans for engaging some big names in the cooking world as hosts.
“I can’t confirm or deny who members of any new hosting team may be other than to say I’ve been trying to ring Margaret Fulton but so far she hasn’t answered. I’ll keep trying though,” Ms Tickle said.