Monday 19 February 2018

Food critic Tom Doorley quits TV3's The Restaurant over clash with Marco Pierre White

Marco Pierre White and Tom Doorley clash on The Restaurant
Marco Pierre White and Tom Doorley clash on The Restaurant
Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

Tom Doorley has resigned from his position as a critic on TV3's The Restaurant and said he can no longer work with chef Marco Pierre White.

In his column in the Irish Mail on Sunday, the popular food critic announced his resignation from the show after fourteen series and said White's dominant personality became an issue while filming the most recent episodes.

Marco Pierre White
Marco Pierre White

The British chef assumed his role at the critic's table following the death of Paolo Tullio in 2015.

Doorley said: "It was a gradual decision but I realised a few weeks ago that I was not going to be part of the next series of The Restaurant.

Paolo Tullio died in 2015
Paolo Tullio died in 2015

"It's more the vast change that has been wrought in The Restaurant after the death of Paolo Tullio from kidney disease in June 2015, that got to me. At first I suggested fellow critic Lucinda O'Sullivan as a replacement. But no, the production company had bitten Marco's hand off when he had - a little surprisingly - volunteered for the gig.

"Suddenly The Restaurant was transformed into The Marco Pierre White Show for series thirteen. We abandoned Wine Port near Athlone, where we had done the programme for years, and transferred to Marco Pierre's restaurant in Donnybrook, where he now took, literally, centre stage."

The critic said he questioned how he would continue to film the remainder of the series after spending his first night at the critic's table with White.

"On the first night of shooting he was so unbearable - contradicting, making lofty pronouncements, talking over the rest of us and never shutting up - that I told him not to be so 'f***ing patronising'. I went back to my Dublin bolthole that night and wondered how I could get through five more evenings like that.

"Marco is like a human vortex; when he has an audience, everything is in orbit around him and he will not take any direction from floor managers, cameramen, directors or me."

Doorley also hit out at White's "dinosaur tendencies" which he said he found hard to stomach.

"Marco's dinosaur tendencies such as his attitude to women and the fact that he refers to them as 'birds' made me feel that I had been cast back to the 1970s.

"When he told a young female guest chef - and I'm paraphrasing here - that when a woman cooks a certain kind of dessert for a man he gets an erection, I was sure I misheard. When this gratuitous sexist sleaze made it into the edit for broadcast, I knew I no longer belonged in The Restaurant," said Doorley.

Despite their differences, Doorley said he continues to admire the chef, who phoned him after the critic told producers he would not be returning to the show.

"Marco phoned me as soon as he was told. His thanks and good wishes were spontaneous and from the heart. I have come to like and understand him even if it would be dishonest for me to continue to work on what is now his very own television show."

Independent.ie has contacted TV3 for comment.

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