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TV Quickfire: Big Zuu is back for a two part Big Eats Christmas special

A two-part Christmas special of Big Zuu's Big Eats airs on Dave this month. We found out more about what to expect from the rapper-turned-chef

Big Zuu loves to cook – and to eat what he cooks
Georgia Humphreys

WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR CHRISTMAS SPECIAL?

THE music special, we are going into a new domain. We are cooking with AJ Tracey, Loyle Carner, JME and Julie Adenuga – all good friends of mine. So, there's this new dynamic; I'm cooking with people that I get on with so they're able to be a bit harsher with their critique.

And then the comedy special, you see the return of Phil Wang, Rosie Jones, Desiree Burch and Ed Gamble; all people that I've cooked with before.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD YOU COOKED FOR THE FESTIVE FEASTS?

I love making sides for Christmas. We did the big turkey, and one of the sides was peri-peri croquettes. Normally I buy my croquettes from Marks & Spencer and put them in the oven but this year, I am one million per cent making them. There is nothing better than deep-fried mashed potato.

WHERE DOES THE INSPIRATION FOR YOUR COOKING COME FROM?

I watch a guy called Mark Wiens on YouTube; he travels the world and he goes to little authentic restaurants. I watch food programmes all day. Obviously, when we cook for people in the programme, it's normally inspired from what they love growing up, what food they love, but we add on wacky twists.

All the things we wish we could do in our kitchen and all the things we wish we could do at a dinner party, that's what we do at Big Eats, because it's TV and we can make it work.

SERIES ONE OF BIG ZUU'S BIG EATS AIRED EARLIER THIS YEAR. HOW WAS THE RESPONSE?

It's sick! People are still talking to me about the programme, people are still watching it; now the repeats are on Dave at pre-watershed so we are getting a whole new fanbase of people watching it. And it's weird – I never thought I'd have a programme that people absolutely love binge-watching.

I've always been a musician and people love me for my music so I'm used to getting love for the stuff that I make, but now I'm kinda getting love for the person I am.

WHAT'S IT LIKE GETTING RECOGNISED BY FANS OF THE SHOW?

People tell me to cook for them, all the time; I get asked to cook for people every day!

It's a bit weird because it's all types of people that are showing us love. One time I went into a shop and there was this old black lady, she looked like she was in her 60s, 70s, and she was like, 'I really love your show'.

DO YOU FIND COOKING HELPS YOUR MENTAL HEALTH?

100 per cent! I was doing lockdown videos with my mum, cooking to promote Big Eats. I was teaching her how to film on the iPhone, she was telling me that oil was too hot… It brought me and mum together way more, it gave us a lot to speak about.

It also gave me something new to do within lockdown. You're in your house, watching the same Netflix film again for the 15th billionth time and you just want to go outside and be free but might be looking forward to having a nice little dinner with your family.

DO YOU SEE YOURSELF DOING LESS MUSIC IN THE FUTURE AND MORE TV?

TV is really fun! I love music as well. I know one day, one will take over the other. It's just one of those things – whatever works, works

:: Big Zuu's Christmas Eats Comedy Special airs on Friday December 18

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