Andi Oliver was "ready" for TV fame by the time it came about.

Andi Oliver felt ready for TV fame later in life

Andi Oliver felt ready for TV fame later in life

The 61-year-old chef is now known for presenting shows like 'Great British Menu' as well as other culinary documentaries but did not find fame until she was in her forties and believes that entering the public eye is "very hard" for young people as she reflected on her lifelong friendship with singer Neneh Cherry.

Asked if she felt prepared for fame, she told Good Housekeeping magazine: "Absolutely. By the time people were stopping me in the street, I was ready for it. I don’t know if I could have dealt with it when I was younger. I watched my best friend, Nana [Neneh Cherry], go through it, and it was pretty hard.

"She was very young and it happened really quickly. She dealt with it in the most regal, brilliant manner, but it was exhausting emotionally. At one point, she got quite ill. Fame is very hard for young people, and to develop emotionally is hard. By the time it happened to me, I was kind of cooked already!"

Andi - who is mother to fellow TV presenter Miquita Oliver and has appeared on 'Celebrity Gogglebox' with her - is now appearing on the new series of 'Great British Menu' on BBC Two and thinks that the latest edition of the culinary competition for professionals will be "spectacular" because of the "culturally diverse backgrounds" represented within the contestants.

She said: "It’s going to be spectacular. We’re at a very interesting time in the restaurant industry because it used to be that chefs felt they had to leave where they grew up and come to London to find success; that there was only one route to culinary excellence. People don’t feel they have to do that anymore.

"Food has been a white, male-led industry for decades, but each year we find more and more women and people from different ethnicities and culturally diverse backgrounds. And this year, we’ve done that again. I’m really excited to be part of the change happening before my eyes."