Michel Roux Jr rules himself out of Saturday Kitchen job
Chef Michel Roux Jr has ruled himself out as the new host of Saturday Kitchen.
The former MasterChef presenter was praised by viewers when he filled in as the hit BBC show's first guest host earlier this month, replacing James Martin who quit after 10 years.
But asked if he would like to take on the role permanently, he told the Press Association: "Good Lord, no. It's a massive ask to commit to 30-something Saturday mornings - and it's early mornings, like four o'clock.
"There's no way my diary could handle that for a start and no, there's no way I'd want to do that."
Roux Jr stepped down from his own BBC shows in 2014 after clashing with the corporation over his endorsement deal with Albert Bartlett Rooster potatoes, but he said "the door is still open with me and the BBC, I've not burnt my bridges".
The acclaimed chef is celebrating 25 years at the helm of his famed family restaurant Le Gavroche this year, but he hinted that he may be taking a step back from his commitments there.
Asked if he plans to take an early retirement, Roux Jr paused and smiled and said: "I'm just thinking, how should I answer this.
"It's difficult to retire. Look at dad (chef Albert Roux), he's 81 this year but he's still working.
"I think I can't imagine myself not doing anything, no. I can't imagine myself not having some kind of an involvement in a restaurant or catering business so I don't know."
Michelin-starred Roux Jr, who has united with The Balvenie whisky for a new YouTube film series looking at British craftsmanship, complained that Britons value cheapness over quality of food.
Talking about the horsemeat scandal that rocked the food industry three years ago, he said: "I still think if the public were given a choice between a cheap burger with the possibility of having horse inside and a premium burger with guaranteed no horse, a lot of people would take the cheaper one because they'd say 'I'm on a budget and it actually tastes alright'."
He admitted worries about overpopulation and sustainable food production after a UN report said insects will need to become a core source of protein to deal with the world's predicted nine billion population by 2050.
He denied that insects could make their way onto the menu at Le Gavroche but said that Britons do need to begin to see meat as a "treat".
He said: "In 50 years' time we'll struggle to feed the world, we're struggling as it is. We have to find more protein, and insects are definitely a way to produce protein in an efficient way but we don't need to eat animal protein every day of the week.
"Forgo cheap supermarket chicken, eat more vegetables and cereal and treat yourself to a really good chicken on Sunday."
Roux Jr's film series The Craftsmen's Dinner can be found at www.youtube.com/TheCraftsmensDinner.