'I couldn't have fitted Great British Bake Off in', says Rachel Allen
Rachel Allen has admitted she didn't mind not getting a job on The Great British Bake Off as it would have taken up too much of her time.
The celebrity chef (45) screen-tested for the series, which recently moved to Channel 4 from BBC One, but wasn't selected to be a part of it.
"I was talking to Channel 4 about a number of different things," she told RSVP Magazine. "I've filmed a programme where I travel round Northern Ireland called Rachel Allen's Northern Exposure, so they asked me to go for some screen tests for Bake Off and My Kitchen Rules.
"It was just a case of what was going to be the most suitable.
"Bake Off would have taken a huge amount of time, and in the end I went for My Kitchen Rules and that's what I'm filming."
Broadcaster and restaurateur Prue Leith is one of the new judges on Bake Off, having replaced Mary Berry.
"Prue Leith did the last series of My Kitchen Rules," Rachel said.
"We did a swap: she's gone to Bake Off and I'm doing Kitchen Rules.
"That's what Channel 4 decided, and I think they made a good call. She's the right person for it."
Rachel juggles her busy career as owner of Rachel's Restaurant in Cork with being mother to Josh (17), Lucca (15) and Scarlett (8).
"There are definitely times when it's easier than others," she said.
"I'd be lying if I said that it's the perfect balance all the time.
"Generally, it works very well because a lot of my work is done from home.
"Some times are more hectic than others and I need to pull back a bit.
"This is a busy time of the year for me because I have the restaurant and I'm filming, but I know that in a few weeks it will calm down.
"I really enjoy the quieter times, but you have to take the rough with the smooth."
Rachel has found owning her own restaurant an exciting challenge.
"It's something that's so different to a cookery book, a programme or any work that I've done before," she said.
"When you write a book, once it's finished it's out there for the public and there's not much you can do.
"With a restaurant, it's the opposite - it's relentless.
"We're constantly changing the menu and tweaking things.
"It's a whole new beast, but a very exciting one."