MACKEM masterchef Stacie Stewart says she’s proud to be flying the flag for Sunderland on prime-time television.
The 31-year-old, who lives in Roker, made her debut on Food Glorious Food this week, where she cut a dash with her Mod style and Sunderland accent.
The cookery talent show is the latest venture from Simon Cowell’s production company, and he has described it as “like Antiques Roadshow combined with food”.
After the first programme on Wednesday, national newspapers criticised the show for being Simon’s lowest-rating launch ever, with 2.7million viewers.
But the show’s bosses have defended it, saying that it’s a cookery show being aired mid-week so cannot be compared to an established Saturday-night show like The X Factor.
Speaking to the Echo, Stacie said: “To me, two and a half million viewers is two and a half million more people who know about Sunderland, helping to put it on the map.
“National journalists keep calling me a Geordie all the time, and I’m quick to correct them. I’m so proud to live in Sunderland.”
Stacie, a former St Anthony’s School pupil, watched the first episode with Cowell at a transmission party at Sony Records in London.
She will remain in the capital for appearances at Fortnum & Mason and the Ideal Home show before heading back to Wearside where she’ll be hosting a signing of her cookery book, Stacie Bakes, at Waterstones from midday to 12.30pm on March 30.
“I can’t wait to get home and watch the show with my mam,” she said.
“It will be interesting to hear what Sunderland people think of the show at the signing. They’re always really honest.”