Peter Everett claims Network 10 sabotaged charity event

Peter Everett

PHOTO: tvtonight.com.au

How ‘Plates for mates’ went from a feel-good fundraiser to threats of sackings.

After 5 years of hosting ratings-winner Ready Steady Cook, popular presenter Peter Everett was sacked from the program.  It was a kick in the guts for Everett who had helped shape the tone of the show and was credited with making significant changes that helped it become a Logie-award nominated viewer favourite.

“I don’t know what I ever did to them, I’d love to know” says Everett.

At the time, Chief Executive Officer of Endemol Southern Star, Rory Callaghan, seemed to take great delight in Everett’s dismissal, telling TV Tonight;

“It was me who called him and said ‘Don’t bother coming back from Bali.’

Callaghan backed up his decision to remove Everett, saying;

“It was a hard production with him so it was time to move on.”

The implication Everett was difficult to work with is an allegation he rejects as he sits in my garage recording a new episode of the McKnight Tonight podcast.

“No, it wasn’t a hard production with me at all, otherwise it (the sacking) would have happened earlier for a start.”

Everett points out he fostered a team environment by including all members of the production and helping everyone out where he could.  Personally, I witnessed first hand the love the crew had for him when he appeared on the TV show I was producing, Studio 10.  When Everett walked onto the set the old timers flocked to him and there was a genuine sense of excitement to see him again.

Matt Golinski

PHOTO: 4KQ

But the network turned on him big time when he was helping out on a charity event to raise funds for chef Matt Golinski.  Golinski had been a regular on Ready Steady Cook but was involved in an horrific fire which claimed the lives of his wife and three children.  Golinski suffered severe burns and remained in a coma for months.

During that time, Everett would visit him, perform Reiki and sit by his side.  

Chefs from Ready Steady Cook (including George Calombaris, Manu Feildel and Gary Mehigan) wanted to help their co-star and the idea of Plates for Mates was born.  Everett was instrumental in developing the idea to help raise funds for his friend.  It was decided Everett would be the host on the night and the team started promoting the event.

Everett says that’s when things turned sour.

All of a sudden the chefs were saying the event doesn’t need a host and there wouldn’t be any need for Everett to even attend.  Everett was distressed by this turn of events, not so much the hosting but that he was being left out of something so important to him.

Eventually he discovered the truth;

“One of the chefs phoned me and said ‘look, let me tell you the truth’ and I was like ‘what truth?’ and the truth is that TEN had phoned them and said ‘we don’t want the chefs to be associated with me any longer and if they were they would lose their jobs from Ready Steady Cook’.”

It’s an allegation the network denied when Everett approached executives, but he remains convinced Channel 10 was willing to sabotage the charity event.  While George Calombaris, Manu Feildel and Gary Mehigan are household names now, back then they were not prime time stars, so the threat of being sacked would have weighed heavily on them all.

Everett has been able to help his friend in many other ways and has even returned to the network for appearances on morning show Studio 10.  In fact his next scheduled appearance is Wednesday 9 January.

The network was never able to recreate the magic of Everett’s reign on the show and it was eventually cancelled.  In 2017 a pilot was made with Kerri-Anne Kennerly but it wasn’t picked up.  Everett shares his thoughts on that ill-fated pilot and how he lost $900,000 in the McKnight Tonight podcast, which you can subscribe to here.