“They had a survey in The Age and someone suggested that [fellow TV legend] Peter Russell-Clarke and I be the new judges,” he smiles. “I thought that was a wonderful idea. I wrote a tongue-in-cheek letter saying that the reason we’d be the good choice for it is that we’d do real food – like the Chiko Roll challenge!”
But make no mistake, Huey’s TV days are definitely over, with the star revealing he simply grew out of love with its demands.
“I was sick to death of television after 24 years,” he laughs.
“I always remember the last time when I thought: ‘Oh, I’m over this.’ We flew to Europe, and we arrived in Budapest and we got into our hotel rooms at about two o’clock in the morning, and we started filming at eight o’clock,” he recalls.
“We were filming five or six recipes a day. I thought: ‘This is about time for me to go!’ So I went home and told my wife. She said: ‘That’s not a bad idea – you’ve been complaining for about two bloody years!’ I just got tired of it, and they probably got tired of me, too.”
So in 2014, Huey hung up his apron and his famous braces, and settled in with his remote instead.
While he owned and ran restaurants in Melbourne for years, these days Huey doesn’t cook much at all – leaving the meals at home to Ruth, his wife of over 15 years.
As for the beloved star’s foray onto YouTube, that idea came courtesy of his 19-year-old daughter Charlotte, who convinced her dad he’d enjoy getting back on people’s screens without the pressure of a full-time TV gig.
“It’s warts and all,” says Huey, who now has a healthy following for his fortnightly cooking videos.
“I don’t have to worry about it too much, about editing. I can do a Prince Philip. I can do the gaffes and just leave them in!”
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