“It’s incredible, 10 years, I feel old,” Manu, 45, tells New Idea with a laugh.
This season is set to be bigger and better than ever with more laughs, more drama, more perfect scores and brand-new, unexpected twists and turns. But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the beloved judges.
Rumours of feuds and behind-the-scenes fighting have plagued the celebrity chefs over the years, but now the trio are spilling on what their relationship is really like.
“We have a lot of fun together and so far we have had a ball,” Pete, 45, reveals.
“I think it’s like the three amigos on set, we f--- around far too much,” Colin, 45, adds, unable to hold back a laugh. “Actually, we get told off sometimes.”
Here Manu, Pete and Colin serve up the goss on what really goes on when the camera stops rolling...
What do you guys have to say about the rumours of feuds between you guys?
PETE: That’s all been exposed hasn’t it? We’re good mates and we respect each other deeply.
COLIN: We’ve been together this long, there are times when Pete and I do a challenge or Pete and Manu, or me and Manu, will do stuff. We’ve shared a lot, but if we didn’t get on we wouldn’t be here. Manu usually drives us to work and Pete always sits in the front – I have to sit in the back!
What’s it like on set between the judges when the camera stops rolling?
MANU: We have a good time working together. Often, Colin brings lunch for us. We had a chicken and ginger soup the other day. We look after each other. I’ve also been doing Pete’s tie for about 10 years because he refused to learn how to do up a tie. So I am doing it for him every day.
So you spend a lot of time together outside work? Are your kid's friends?
COLIN: Well Pete is a bit more up north ... we do see Chilli, but Manu’s kids are around here swimming, because I just built a pool. So they all get on and my kids look after his youngest.
Do your kids watch My Kitchen Rules?
MANU: My son [Jonti] is 14 and he is not interested in cooking and Charlee is not even 4 yet so she’s a bit young and she thinks every daddy is on TV.
You’re not the cool dad then?
MANU: I’m not even allowed to go to school. I have to drop [Jonti] on the kerb and let him go across the street [laughs].
Pete, do your kids Chilli and Indii think it’s cool having a dad on TV?
PETE: You would have to ask them that, I’m just Dad to them. I don’t know if I would pass as a cool dad and I don’t really know how many cool dads are out there for teenage kids. But we have a lot of fun together and we have a lot of love between us.
Is it hard being away from your kids while filming the Instant Restaurants?
MANU: I’m able to be back home every three or four days. It’s tiring but I think it’s important. The little one is growing fast and the big one is going to be out of home soon, you know. The time flies so you’ve got to cherish them while they are there.
PETE: We are fortunate enough that it’s not very far apart [when we see each other] especially because filming is in Australia and everything is close by.
Do you want more kids?
MANU: No, I don’t think so. I’m too old, it’s too much, I’m too busy. My life is crazy enough, if I had another one I would probably shoot myself [laughs].
PETE: You never know what’s around the corner.
COLIN: Yeah, I wouldn’t mind. I love kids.
How does it feel reaching the 10th season of MKR?
PETE: It’s awesome, what a milestone! I think after the first year we knew we had something special. We had the formula from day one, but like any recipe you keep tweaking it and experimenting and every year we try to make it a bit better.
What can we expect from the contestants this year?
PETE: The calibre is fantastic, we always get a really good mix of people from different age groups, different walks of life, different backgrounds and different combinations of teams. We have friends working together, family, mothers, romantic relationships and that’s what keeps it fresh every year.
Last season was drama filled, can we expect as much this season?
MANU: Yes, there’s a bit of drama, there’s got to be drama – it’s in the recipe for success! But it’s not as bad as last year that’s for sure.
COLIN: This season I would say more good drama than bad drama, ’cause I think we are all opposed to bad drama because last season upset us a bit.
What do you think about people joining the show for fame only?
COLIN You’ll always get that, but that goes in life anyway. You always get a few idiots and we suss that out pretty quick.
MANU: This year, we’ve got some of the best cooks we’ve ever seen, and a team or two that think they can but they can’t!