Former MasterChef Australia judge George Calombaris in low-budget return to TV

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Controversial ex MasterChef judge George Calombaris makes dismal return to TV as his low-budget new cooking show bombs in ratings with just 69,000 viewers tuning in

The return of former MasterChef Australia judge George Calombaris to TV has turned out to be an anticlimax.

His new low-budget reality show, Hungry, which airs on on Channel 10, debuted to less-than-spectacular ratings last Saturday, reports The Herald Sun.

The cooking show scored a meagre 69,000 viewers in the metro ratings in the 6.30pm slot.

Former MasterChef Australia judge George Calombaris in low-budget return to TV

The return of former MasterChef Australia judge George Calombaris to TV has turned out to be an anticlimax. His new low-budget reality show, Hungry, debuted to less than spectacular ratings om non Channel 10 last Saturday. Pictured: Calombaris and co-host Sarah Todd

It comes after the 44-year-old hit rock bottom following a series of scandals. 

He made headlines after he was found to have underpaid his restaurant staff by nearly $8 million. He later resigned from MasterChef in 2019 amid the controversy. 

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Ex-MasterChef contestant Sarah Todd, 34, co-hosts the new series, which focuses on Australia’s diverse culinary tastes.

Meanwhile, the co-hosts posted to Instagram to present a live session and reveal the extent they were willing to go to keep Hungry’s budget economical.

The cooking show scored a meagre 69,000 viewers in the metro ratings in the 6.30pm slot

The cooking show scored a meagre 69,000 viewers in the metro ratings in the 6.30pm slot 

Cost saving measures, says Todd, included looking after Calombaris’ clothes – usually the job of a dedicated designer.

George described the production values of MasterChef as comparatively ‘huge’, in the Instagram chat.

‘…it’s just a couple of cameramen, a couple of producers,’ he said of his new show.

The co-hosts took to Instagram live to reveal the extent they were willing to go to keep Hungry's budget economical. Pictured: Ex-model and former MasterChef contestant Todd, who debuted on the hit show in 2014 when she finished ninth

The co-hosts took to Instagram live to reveal the extent they were willing to go to keep Hungry’s budget economical. Pictured: Ex-model and former MasterChef contestant Todd, who debuted on the hit show in 2014 when she finished ninth

He added that Todd even did his make-up. 

But elsewhere in their online chat, the glamorous ex-model put a positive spin on the task of lugging her co-hosts clothes around the street.

‘I think its nice to take away the glitz and glam of [something like] MasterChef,’ she said.  

Hungry, meanwhile, is fully funded by a sponsor.

Hungry is so low-budget that Todd looks after the clothes George wears on the show and does his make-up. Pictured: The co-hosts shop in a scene from Hungry

Hungry is so low-budget that Todd looks after the clothes George wears on the show and does his make-up. Pictured: The co-hosts shop in a scene from Hungry

Todd, who finished as runner-up on the 2022 MasterChef: Fans and Faves season, said that the new show will give viewers a chance to see ‘how food can go beyond cultures and countries and it really brings people together.’

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The dark-haired beauty first appeared on MasterChef in 2014 and finished ninth. 

She became one of the most successful alumni from the show, opening two restaurants in India. 

Todd later starred in two TV shows – My Restaurant In India and My Second Restaurant In India – which followed her opening up eateries in Goa and Mumbai respectively. 

George says he welcomes the lack of gloss in the new show compared to MasterChef

George says he welcomes the lack of gloss in the new show compared to MasterChef

 

 

 

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