Entertainment

Fred Sirieix talks being naked on telly: ‘It’s nice to do something mad’

Fred Sirieix has been named ambassador for plant-based brand Dopsu (Picture: Getty Images)

Iconic maître D’ and TV personality Fred Sirieix, 50, on eating less meat, being naked on telly and why Strictly isn’t out of the question.

Why are you getting behind veg protein product Dopsu?

I’m into healthy eating and I also like to innovate a bit. The other day I made a mix between a salade niçoise and a salade périgourdine, which is a duck salad using the No-Duck strips from Dopsu.

It’s pea protein but there are no additives in it, which I don’t like to put inside my body. I’m very conscious about what I eat and this is a good alternative to meat.

Growing up in France, we’d eat a three-course meal daily. My mum is a very good cook, and having our five a day and a balanced diet is something we’ve done since I was little.

Should we all be eating less meat?

I don’t think we need to eat all the meat we do, especially when you see all the deforestation from the production of beef.

I don’t eat meat every day but we are so conditioned and I think it’s about changing habits. But it’s not just about meat, it’s about everything we eat.

The famed maître d’ (Picture Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

What do you miss most about being a maître d’?

I still help some friends with their restaurants so I have contact with the industry. What you get daily from being a maître d’ is the buzz of the service. It’s a very special job.

Both my parents were nurses and my mum said once: ‘We both look after people but the difference is I look after people suffering in hospital, whereas you look after people when everything is good’.

How much did First Dates change your life?

It opened up the world of television, although I was already on TV from 2011 on a show called Michel Roux’s Service on BBC2.

With First Dates I got really into what makes a good TV show and what goes on behind the scenes.

All the skills I’ve learned in hospitality are really transferable. People who do well in TV have the same work ethic as people do in restaurants.

Why is First Dates so popular?

It’s something we can all relate to. We may not be looking for love or to date but the situations you see on TV you can put yourself into, whether you watch the adult or teen version.

It’s also just entertaining. You can watch it with a wine or tea and smile and root for the people because they’re so well matched and you want to see what happens.

Your show with Gordon Ramsay and Gino D’Acampo is popular too. Why do you work so well together?

Because we are like chalk, cheese and something else. We are kind of an unlikely trio. I laugh when I’m there and I laugh when I’m watching it because I remember what it was like.

Who drinks the most out of you?

It depends on the mood we’re in!

Fred appears on Gordon, Gino and Fred’s Road Trip with Gordon Ramsay (Andrew H. Walker/REX/Shutterstock)

What is it about you getting naked on television?!

I don’t know! I think life is so short and sometimes it’s nice to be outrageous and do something mad. And to just laugh about it.

It’s nice to have that little bit of folly just to not take yourself or life too seriously.

Do your two kids watch your shows?

My daughter [Olympic diver Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix] watched First Dates Teens through her fingers because she finds it so embarrassing.

They both like Gordon, Gino And Fred because they think it’s hilarious and their friends talk to them about it.

You can imagine the conversations they have about their dad naked in a vineyard in Greece or doing some silly things with goats! I haven’t embarrassed them yet!

Fred’s daughter, Olympic athlete Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (Picture: Mike Marsland/WireImage)

You must be very proud of your daughter but also gutted not to have got to Tokyo last year.

Yeah, I’d bought my tickets and was ready to go. I’ve never been to Japan and my son loves sushi, so it would have been an amazing experience. But we had to watch her on television and I had a feeling she was going to get to the final.

She was the best-ranked female Brit and finished seventh-best in the world. I had my hands up in the air. And we had a phone call from her straight away, which was beautiful.

Has she taught you anything about fitness and exercise?

Andrea trains six days a week – she’s got that work ethic. And because I like fitness, we talk about sports a lot. She’s been telling me to stretch for a long time so I’ve started doing some deep stretching and I can’t believe the transformation.

I did a week of training with my daughter and Team GB, and I’ve never been so scared. I managed to dive head first at five metres but the others were too high. I jumped from 10 metres feet first and landed on my butt, and you can see how bruised my legs were on Instagram. I’ll never do it again.

You did the Strictly Christmas Special. Would you do the whole thing?

I’m not a natural dancer. It took me three weeks to get that dance and it was a minute and a half. It’s mind-blowing all the things you have to think about all at once. Would I do the whole series? Yes, I think I would.

I think life is so short and sometimes it’s nice to be outrageous and do something mad.

For more info about Dopsu, see their website


MORE : The Big Questions: Fred Sirieix on Gino D’Acampo hijinks, ‘killjoy’ Gordon Ramsay and why we want to be French


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