Simon Rimmer to interview Richard Hammond in Pub in the Park Chiswick podcast

Images above: Simon Rimmer; Richard Hammond

Introducing ‘Pod in the Park’

TV broadcaster and celebrity chef Simon Rimmer will be at this year’s Pub in the Park in Chiswick, recording a podcast with celebrity guests in front of the live audience of festival goers.

‘Pod in the Park’ is a new departure for the festival.  Guests confirmed for the Chiswick podcast will be Italian chef Gennaro Contaldo (Jamie Oliver’s mentor in his first job as pastry chef at Carluccio’s restaurant); Tom Brown, the British chef who was a finalist on the Great British Menu, who now owns his own restaurant, Cornerstone in Hackney Wick; and Tom Kerridge, the creative entrepreneur who set up Pub in the Park. Tom opened the Hand & Flowers pub in Marlow in 2005, and within a year was awarded his first Michelin star.

Images above: Gennaro Contaldo; Tom Brown – image Great British Chefs; Tom Kerridge

Also in the line-up for the Chiswick podcast recording is Richard Hammond, of Top Gear/ The Grand Tour fame, who is a freind of Simon’s and who lives locally. He, Jeremy Clarkson and James May announced last year they were bringing The Grand Tour to a close. The penultimate episode Sand Job, filmed in Mauretania, across the Sahara to Senegal, following the route of the famous Paris-Dakar Rally, aired in February, and the last in the series, filmed in Zimbabwe, will air later this year.

What next for Richard? I have no doubt Simon will be asking him.

“We’ll be celebrating British pub culture” Simon told The Chiswick Calendar. He aims to have at least one foodie guest and one music guest at each of the venues – Marlow, Chiswick, Reigate and St Albans – and there will be ‘surprise’ guests added in to the mix on the day. The recording will be between 30 and 45 minutes, in between bands, so as not to detract from events on the main stage, and he says, there will be plenty of audience participation.

Image above: Simon Rimmer (R) with Sunday Brunch co-presenter Tim Lovejoy

“The idea is that you will be welcomed into my imaginary pub”, says Simon, so for example there will be a darts tournament with the guests as they move from location to location. First round, Marlow, 16-19 May – The Great British Bake-Off star Mary Berry vs Tom Kerridge.

Simon is himself a massive foodie. As a broadcaster he has appeared on This Morning, The One Show, The Gadget Show and Pointless Celebrities. He appeared on Strictly Come Dancing with Karen Clifton as his partner. He presented Something for the Weekend on BBC2, and still presents Sunday Brunch on Channel 4.

As a chef he is the owner of 24 restaurants, including Greens in Manchester and 19 restuarants in his pizza chain Rudy’s, across the north of England. The Channel 4 star also co-owns bars Albert’s Schenke in Liverpool and Albert’s Schloss in Manchester, and is planning on opening a new similar venue in central London, on the site of the old Rainforst cafe on Piccadilly in July.

Image above: Simon Rimmer’s bar Albert’s Schloss in Manchester

Failing all else, he can also be relied upon to talk about his other passion – Tranmere Rovers – his specialist subject on Celebrity Mastermind.

This year’s Pub in the Park festival tour is much reduced from previous years – down from 11 locations to just four, of which Chiswick House Gardens in June is one. The organisers are focusing on quality rather than quantity. This will be the fifth Pub in the Park in Chiswick and we are still in the schedule because, they say, they know how much we appreciate our food!

Chefs this year include: Tom Kerridge, Big Has, Gennaro Contaldo, Andi Oliver, Simon Rimmer, Tom & Robert Aikens, Emily Scott, Sophie Wyburd, Jeremy Chan, Mursal Saiq & Josh Moroney, Atul Kochhar, Ben Tish, Becky Excell, Sam Evans & Shauna Guinn, Jack Blumenthal, DJ BBQ Chris ‘Chops’ Taylor, Nisha Parmar, David Lagonell, Chris Bavin, and hte Kitchen Joy Cookery School.

The music line-up features De La Soul on the Friday night, Scouting for Girls on Saturday afternoon, Busted on Saturday evening, and Jools Holland for the Lazy Sunday afternoon.

READ ALSO: Busted and Jools Holland headline at Pub in the Park in June

Tickets: pubintheparkuk.com

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar