Ainsley Harriott

Chef and Television Presenter
Cooking Gameshow Host

Ainsley Harriott Gameshow Host


Ainsley Harriott is a beloved British chef, television presenter, and entertainer, renowned for his infectious enthusiasm for cooking and his captivating presence on various television cooking game shows. Born on February 28, 1957, in London, England, Ainsley’s culinary journey and charismatic hosting style have endeared him to audiences around the world.

Early Life and Culinary Beginnings

Ainsley Harriott’s love for cooking was cultivated from a young age, inspired by his mother’s culinary skills and his multicultural background. He grew up in a family of Jamaican heritage, which greatly influenced his cooking style, blending vibrant Caribbean flavors with traditional British dishes. This fusion of flavors would later become a hallmark of his cooking career.

His culinary education took him to London’s Westminster College, where he honed his skills and began to develop his signature style. After completing his training, he embarked on a career in the food industry, working in various restaurants and hotels. However, it was in the world of television that Ainsley found his true calling.

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Rise to Television Stardom

Ainsley Harriott’s breakthrough in television came with the popular cooking show “Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook,” which first aired in 1995. In this show, Ainsley’s warm and approachable personality shone through as he guided amateur cooks through the process of creating delicious meals. His catchphrase, “Give it a go!” encouraged even the most hesitant cooks to step into the kitchen.

“Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook” became a massive success, and Ainsley’s infectious energy made him a household name. The show’s format was simple yet effective, with Ainsley mentoring contestants and offering easy-to-follow cooking tips and techniques. His ability to make cooking accessible and enjoyable resonated with audiences across the UK.

Ready, Steady, Cook!

Ainsley Harriott’s association with cooking game shows continued with his role as the host of “Ready, Steady, Cook!” The show, which first aired in 1994, pitted two celebrity chefs against each other, competing to create delicious dishes from a limited selection of ingredients chosen by contestants. Ainsley’s role as the affable host and mediator added an element of fun and excitement to the culinary competition.

“Ready, Steady, Cook!” became a staple of daytime television for over a decade, showcasing Ainsley’s culinary expertise and flair for improvisation. His infectious laughter and witty banter with the contestants made the show a fan favorite, and it contributed to the show’s long-running success.

Ready Steady Cook Ainsley Harriott

Ainsley Harriott TV Shows

Legacy in Culinary Game Shows

Ainsley Harriott’s impact on culinary game shows cannot be overstated. His ability to combine culinary expertise with a down-to-earth and entertaining presentation style made him a household name. He not only taught viewers how to cook but also inspired them to embrace the joy of cooking.

In addition to his work on “Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook” and “Ready, Steady, Cook,” Ainsley hosted various other cooking shows and made numerous guest appearances on television. His cookbooks, filled with accessible recipes and cooking tips, further solidified his status as a culinary authority.


In conclusion, Ainsley Harriott is a charismatic culinary game show host who has left an indelible mark on the world of television and cooking. His passion for food, infectious enthusiasm, and ability to connect with both novice and experienced cooks have made him a beloved figure in British entertainment. Ainsley’s legacy in culinary game shows, including “Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook” and “Ready, Steady, Cook,” continues to inspire and entertain audiences, encouraging them to embrace the joys of cooking and culinary creativity.