Smallscreen News

Food Network caught in a Royal scam

By M&C Smallscreen Mar 2, 2008, 4:53 GMT

The British chef who cooked up a story about designing Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding cake has been fired from the Food Network.

Food Network bosses investigated the situation and discovered that Dinner Impossible star Robert Irvine lied about his credentials — including having designed Diana’s wedding cake. Now they have revealed Irvine's contract has not been renewed.

A statement from Food Network said: “We have not renewed Robert’s contract for future seasons and will be looking for a replacement host.”

Irvine has apologized for his actions, saying: “I was wrong to exaggerate in statements related to my experiences regarding the Royal Family.”

Irvine pretends to be a spy in the opening titles to hit series ‘Dinner: Impossible’, which promise viewers: “What you are about to see…is real.”

A voiceover introduces his cooking missions by saying: “Robert has tackled some of the toughest culinary challenges in the world - but can he conquer this one?”

Reportedly Irvine claimed he was a knight who owned a castle in Scotland, and had cooked for presidents and royalty and was friends with Prince Charles.

Irvine previously claimed to have worked on the cake in his book ‘Mission: Cook!’.  He told the Toronto Sun newspaper: “It was an English fruitcake that weighed over 360 pounds.

“I worked on these elaborate side panels, which told the history of the royal Windsor and Spencer families - in icing!”

But he then told the St Petersburg Times: “I was at the school when that was happening. They made the cake at the school where I was.”

Asked if he helped make it, he said: “Picking fruit and things like that.”

Irvine also confessed he made up a story about being a knight to impress wealthy Americans in St Petersburg, Florida.

He told the St Petersburg Times: “When I first came down there and I met people down there with all this money, it was like trying to keep up with the Joneses.

“I was sitting in a bar one night and that came out. It was stupid.”

A Buckingham Palace spokesman confirmed that Irvine is a big British nobody with no royal connections or castles.

Irvine had reportedly been planning to open two restaurants in St Petersburg but they are still not finished three months past the planned opening. He also allegedly owes thousands to his website consultant and a St Petersburg socialite claims he owes her $100,000.

A spokesman for Food Network, which airs Irvine’s show, said: “It’s unfortunate if Robert embellished the extent of his culinary experiences.”

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