Belfast Telegraph

Rick Stein: I had to deal with major catastrophe at an early age

The restaurateur and presenter was 18 when Eric, who had bipolar disorder, died.

Chef Rick Stein during a cookery demonstration (Yui Mok/PA)
Chef Rick Stein during a cookery demonstration (Yui Mok/PA)

By Sherna Noah, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Rick Stein says it is difficult to “forgive” his father after he took his own life.

The restaurateur and presenter was 17 when Eric, who had bipolar disorder, died.

“It’s very hard to forgive people that kill themselves,” Stein told Radio Times magazine.

I had to deal with pretty major catastrophe at an early age Rick Stein

“I still respond to his style, his sense of humour, his sort of pleasure in things. But you realise you’ve been damaged by the same person as well.

“He didn’t really take it out on his children, he was never cruel to us. It was just that he had his own demons.”

Stein, 72, told the magazine: “I had to deal with pretty major catastrophe at an early age.

“Losing close relatives doesn’t get any easier, really, but losing your parents is the big deal.

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Radio Times cover (PA)

“I think, for me, I just keep feeling the need to prove yourself, and that’s probably from having a slightly overpowering father.”

Stein, who has filmed a new BBC series, Secret France, also spoke about his own health, saying he is now “a bit more sensible” than he used to be.

“Everything is still working….  I tend to drink beer, so I’m not getting smashed,” he said.

“I always put on a couple of kilos every time I film a programme. You can’t really tuck into a dish and then just leave it.

“Somebody has cooked it for you, so I inevitably end up eating too much. The work is quite physical, but I suppose it’s not the healthiest.”

The presenter feels sad about Brexit.

“My dad was very, very in favour of the European Union,” he told the magazine.

“My family on that side are part-German, so he understood and remembered things going so badly wrong. So it means a lot to me.

“I just think we’re better as part of the European Union than not. I like being joined to France.”

The full interview is in this week’s Radio Times magazine.

PA

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