TV presenter Simon Chantry and tee-total wine expert Rupert Sebacious-Smythe are the characters at the centre of web series Tuesday Afternoon Kitchen. We caught up with them to find out what we can expect from the new series on Amazon Prime Video.
Simon, how did Rupert come to be linked to your show?
The producers were looking for someone with extensive experience in the drinks industry, and Rupert was something of a well-known personality on the TV wine circuit, so when we heard he'd gone booze free he seemed like a perfect choice to head up our new soft drinks feature on the show.
Rupert, you've left behind the world of wine?
I was something of a living legend in the booze world, reviewing wines for hotels, prestigious publications, that sort of thing. I had the power to make or break a wine, on a whim. I once destroyed the reputation of a very popular Cabernet after the owners of the vineyard claimed I'd brought their brand into disrepute from drinking so much of it. Once I make the decision to cut someone off I never look back. I'm like an amputative surgeon in that respect. But all good things must come to an end, of course. I'm much happier in the soft drink world, there's less pressure.
If we can ask you to be honest for a moment... what do you think of your co-host?
Simon: He's a good laugh, but he does go on a bit.
Rupert: Oh Simon, come on! I'm just trying to tell a story! What's a drink without the story behind it? It's just a brand name and a flavour, isn't it? Where's the legend? Where's the romance?
Rupert, what is the best soft drink you've sampled so far?
Oh, now you're asking me. The best drink... well, the Lux-O-Juice from Juice Inc we looked at in this series was certainly something worth writing home about. It had real gold leaf in it, you know, and certainly got me going. There's been so many though, it's very hard to choose a paramount favourite. In fact, I can't. So I wont.
Simon, as your show is live, it must present some challenges for you?
Yes. Swearing is the biggest problem on the show. We've been raked over the coals by the ombudsman more times than I care to remember. And our researchers tend to be quite lazy in looking into the background behind a story. Often I'll end up looking something up on my phone live on air because no-one has bothered to do it beforehand. It can get frustrating.
Do you sometimes regret letting people call in?
Simon: I think I'll let you answer this one.
Rupert: As long as people keep it sensible its fine, but we do get a fair few simpletons calling the show. One fellow called in because he felt like scientists were exploring space in an attempt to make him feel stupid. He'd taken the whole thing very personally, which is ridiculous. He wouldn't accept it and hung the phone up in a rage. I actually received some death threats after that episode, which was new territory for me!
What do you think of your rival show, Sunday Brunch?
Rupert: Absolute rubbish. A load of old tosh!
Simon: Oh I love it, its very organised and well produced. The polar opposite to our show in almost every conceivable way. I watch it whenever I can.
Could you ever see Tuesday Afternoon Kitchen going prime-time, maybe Tuesday Evening Kitchen?
Simon: Hmmm.. well if it was broadcast later in the evening then at least we'd get around the swearing problem, but it's hard to get our team to commit to anything.
Rupert: Evenings aren't great for me, if I'm honest. I come alive of an evening.
What's next for you both?
Rupert: Well I'm having a haircut at 2 today, so that's most of the afternoon spoken for.
Simon: They mean career-wise.
Rupert: Oh! Who knows! The world is our oyster!
Simon: Deary me.
You can watch Tuesday Afternoon Kitchen on Amazon Prime Video