WATCH: Radio stunts that pushed Preston too far

 

Former MasterChef judge Matt Preston has opened up about some of the "silly" and "irresponsible" FM radio stunts he has had to take part in over the years.

Preston spoke to news.com.au to promote the fact he is filling in as host of ABC Radio Melbourne's afternoon program for the next two weeks while Jacinta Parsons is on leave.

The food critic is no stranger to radio having done thousands of interviews to promote his previous role on MasterChef and his various books.

But Preston said "there was an ugly period around 2010/2011" where FM radio shows would ask him to participate in stunts during in-studio interviews before he eventually said "I'm done" and refused to do any more.

Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston in 2010.
Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston in 2010.


"One of the silly ones was identifying things by smell and they'd soaked dish cloths, and one of them was soaked in petrol," Preston recalled about a stunt. "It was like, that's just stupid.

"I had to do another one where I had to put my hand into a box and by touch I had to try and work out what was in there. It was a snake.

"That's just plain irresponsible," Preston told news.com.au. "If you poke around at a snake with your fingers, the snake wants to strike at you obviously.

"I don't mind if the hosts are also willing to put their hands in there as well, but you realise these are stunts they don't want to do themselves."

Preston, who later this year is set to star in Channel Seven's Plate Of Origin, said the weirdest stunt he was ever asked to take part in by an FM radio show was a Halloween stunt.

"The hosts were trying to scare each other," he told news.com.au. "One host went out to have a cigarette and I was waiting in the studio and under the table was a seven-foot boa constrictor, just lying by the heater.

"The idea was that the host would come back in, we'd start the segment and halfway through the segment I'd go, 'is there something moving under the desk?' Then the female host, who was terrified by snakes, would look under the desk and scream."

But the stunt was derailed before the host returned to the studio.

"While I was waiting, there was a tune I liked and I was jiggling my feet to the rhythm and apparently as I was tapping my feet the boa constrictor sat up and started swallowing my foot!" Preston said.

The TV personality told news.com.au there were some stunts he simply refused to do and added: "Thankfully a lot of those types of stunts have gone now."

Matt Preston was a judge on MasterChef for 11 years.
Matt Preston was a judge on MasterChef for 11 years.

MASTERCHEF

Preston recently revealed to Nova's Fitzy and Wippa that he hasn't watched a single episode of the current season of MasterChef.

When asked why by news.com.au, Preston likened it to a mutual break-up.

"You can think about the great things you did … but you don't want to be going on their Instagram account," he joked. "There's a danger that you start dwelling on stuff that's no longer relevant.

"They've moved on, I've moved on, and that's brilliant. I've got nothing but love for MasterChef - it's been an amazing thing for me."

PLATE OF ORIGIN

Preston will soon be back on our screens in Channel Seven's Plate of Origin. The show will see Preston reunite with his former MasterChef co-star Gary Mehigan. But George Calombaris isn't a part of the program, with Manu Feildel acting as the third judge instead.

"It would have felt weird if it had been anyone other than Manu," Preston told news.com.au about the show's line-up.

"I've known Manu for a decade - I've always liked him. He's such a great character and he's also so knowledgeable about food and I think that's something that we haven't seen enough of."

Preston told news.com.au that he and Feildel and Mehigan did a week-long road trip before shooting Plate Of Origin, saying it was "a really great way of getting up to speed so that when we started filming we felt comfortable".

"George, Gary and I, we're like an old married couple," he said. "We could all finish each others sentences. But it's amazing how quickly we managed to achieve that with Manu, that same level of understanding.

"We filmed the promo the other day and we just laughed for two hours," Preston said. "Gary described it as the best ab workout he's had in the last four months."

Hosts Gary Mehigan, Manu Feildel and Matt Preston for Seven's Plate of Origin. Picture: Seven
Hosts Gary Mehigan, Manu Feildel and Matt Preston for Seven's Plate of Origin. Picture: Seven

CRAVATS

When you think of Matt Preston, you think of cravats. He wore hundreds of colourful cravats during his 11 seasons on MasterChef, but will he be sporting the fashion item on Plate Of Origin?

"Oh my god, that is such a good question!" Preston laughed. "You'll just have to wait and see. Put it this way, there are shocks and surprises galore approaching."

ABC RADIO GIG

Preston begins his guest presenting role on ABC Melbourne tomorrow (Monday, June 29) and will be heard weekdays from 12.30pm to 3.30pm.

"I filled in two years ago and I absolutely loved it," he told news.com.au. "I'm slightly concerned by the fact that through isolation I've only talked to seven people, so that may result in two things: either me talking way too much or me fumbling to try and string a coherent sentence together.

"It will be worth tuning in just to hear how what disasters I make," he joked.

Matt Preston will fill in as host of ABC Melbourne Afternoons for the next two weeks.
Matt Preston will fill in as host of ABC Melbourne Afternoons for the next two weeks.

Matt Preston will be guest presenting ABC Radio Melbourne Afternoons program for two weeks from Monday

 

 

Originally published as Radio stunts that pushed Preston too far



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