Monday November 24, 2008
From the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Joe Crea: When Michael Symon was offered the gig to host popular cable television series "Dinner: Impossible," viewers knew that the winner of "Food Network's Next Iron Chef" was taking over for a disgraced chef.
What they didn't know was that Symon would be a temporary replacement. Food Network officials
announced that former series host Robert Irvine will be returning to
"Dinner Impossible." Irvine has been rehired to film six new episodes
for the series, to be aired sometime
in March 2009.
A resume apparently laced with a variety of exaggerations and false assertions led to Irvine's removal by the network as series host. In an article published last February in the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, reporter Ben Montgomery refuted various Irvine claims - among them, that he helped bake the cake for the fairytale wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, held the title of Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order and that his friend, Queen Elizabeth II, had given him a castle.
In a statement to the media, a Food Network spokeswoman explained what led to Irvine's return to the show.
"Our audience has continued to demonstrate its interest in and support for Robert," said network spokeswoman Carrie Welch. "He has taken responsibility and made a conscious effort to clear the air, rebuild the relationship with Food Network and apologize for the earlier inaccuracies."