First Dates star Fred Sirieix signs up for new TV series

By Sherna Noah, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

First Dates star Fred Sirieix has landed a new TV series.

The French-born maitre d’ is on the hunt for tomorrow’s chefs and restaurateurs in Step Up To The Plate.

Sirieix and chef Allegra McEvedy will put 10 to 14-year-olds through their paces in the CBBC series as they try to find a maitre d’ and head chef who have the “potential to be future stars of the restaurant industry”.

Strictly Come Dancing star AJ Pritchard will be a guest on the show (Matt Crossick/PA)

Strictly Come Dancing’s AJ Pritchard, ex-Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh and former EastEnders actress Jacqueline Jossa will appear as celebrity customers while others will pose as “difficult diners”.

Sirieix, whose advice on love made him a breakout star of First Dates, said he wants to inspire a new generation of professionals.

“I’ve always wanted to showcase the hospitality industry in all its glory,” he said. “This show is a unique opportunity to do that and to teach kids the art of service and the art of running a restaurant.

“It’s about inspiring and educating the next generation of professionals into the world of catering and hospitality because it is a wonderful industry and there are great career prospects there.”

Step Up To The Plate will air on weekdays on CBBC from Monday August 12.