Exclusive: Mo Gilligan talks Big Breakfast's return, Mac and Cheese and his future on Gogglebox

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Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

Whether joining the panel of The Masked Singer, entertaining us week-on-week on Celebrity Gogglebox or reviving iconic '90s telly in the form of a Big Breakfast special, Mo Gilligan is having a real moment on our screens.

And we couldn't be happier about it.

The comedian – who's currently touring the UK, as well as fronting a new campaign for Purplebricks – took some time out of his busy schedule to catch up with Digital Spy for this exclusive interview.

The Big Breakfast return went down a treat, what has the reaction and reception been like for you to experience?

First of all, just walking into the original house was a thing in itself. There's a lot of people that work in TV that told me they used to work on it, or that it was their first job, and when you walk into the house there's this weird element of presence that the house has got.

Where it is [in Stratford] you can see the new stadium from the house, so the energy in it was amazing. Just having all those people there who don't normally get opportunities to work on TV was something in itself.

But the reaction… right now this minute I'm still getting people tweet and message me they're watching it. I don't think I've ever had a reaction like that, on any TV show, or anything I've ever done before. So positive. Literally everyone wants the show to come back. It's nice that we paid [the original] justice. It was lovely to do.

Photo credit: Channel 4
Photo credit: Channel 4

People are calling for it to become a more regular or permanent morning show, would you be up for doing that?

No comment [laughs].

Is there another nostalgic show, maybe that you particularly loved when you were younger, that you’d love to bring back and present or be part of?

Not so much presenting, but there's one show that Vernon Kay used to host with 100 girls and 100 guys. He'd give a couple £100,000 and they'd go out and spend it and next week potentially win it. I don't know what it was called, but it was one of the best shows I think I ever saw growing up.

I wouldn't even want to host it; I'd just want to see it come back. Ah, and bring back Golden Balls! Oh my gosh, how is no-one bringing that back? Bring back Golden Balls. And Fun House – just for us adults. Let us have a go on it.

We have to ask you about your Mac and Cheese with Wotsits, as that got quite the response from Sunday Brunch viewers and some have even called for you to have your own cooking show – is that something you'd be interested in?

I wouldn't give me a cooking show. I'm making food that I feel like the British public could replicate, but… I don't know.

Actually, I'm not against having a cooking show. However, I didn't make up this Wotsits Mac and Cheese – I'd just saw it, like it, and wanted to tell people about it. I like to make food that in your head you're like 'What?' but as soon as you eat it, you're like 'Oh my gosh.'

Food has to taste good before it looks good. The Wotsits were crushed up into a dust and used as a crumble on top. Even if you're not sure on how it looks, you watch your tastebuds start dancing when you try this Mac and Cheese.

Photo credit: UKTV
Photo credit: UKTV

What other recipes would you bring to the nation?

[Wotsits Mac and Cheese] is the main one, really. Everyone makes their own version of Mac and Cheese, and the cool thing is with that one… yeah, I'll put Wotsits in it, but tomorrow someone might put prawns on it. Everyone's got their own dish already.

I've had lobster Mac and Cheese with truffle – Big Zuu made me that one. That one was top tier. Big Zuu is a very, very good cook. He makes food that you just want to eat and eat. His dishes are made with loads of flavour, which is really important.

You and Babatunde are definitely fan-favourites on Celebrity Gogglebox. We're hoping you'll be part of the show for some series to come? Do you know when you'll be filming next?

Hopefully, if they'll have me back – but that's up to Gogglebox, not me!

It's such a joy, that's the thing. There were a few shows over lockdown that gave people that sense of joy, and [Gogglebox] is one of them. I watch the show as well, and you discover a lot of new programmes that you wouldn't usually watch on it. It's easy viewing, very harmless, a lot of fun.

Photo credit: Channel 4
Photo credit: Channel 4

It looks like you guys have so much fun filming together, are there any moments or outtakes you wish had made it to air but didn't?

Nah, not really. They actually capture all the good bits we want in. The only other bits are outtakes of us eating and not saying anything. It's probably the one TV thing where you don't realise the cameras because you're watching the TV. You don't need to look in the cameras to deliver lines or anything. With Gogglebox it’s probably the one thing you get to do and forget you’re filming a TV programme.

Letting the cameras – and the public – into your home must feel a little daunting, did you make any changes to the living room space for the show?

Just cleaned it, really. Those HD cameras, 4K TVs… they'll even pick up that little bit of dust on the mantlepiece. That was a conscious effort to make sure nothing was out of place.

Mo Gilligan is the star of a new campaign for Purplebricks – the leading tech-led estate agent.

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