Glasgow's Mad Chef Danny takes Scran Van on the road in new BBC show

Glasgow's very own Mad Chef is hitting the road to encourage the Scottish public to ditch unhealthy takeaways in favour of home cooking. Danny McLaren has teamed up with BBC Scotland to create new show The Scran Van. The show follows Danny and his food truck as they travel around Scotland trying to tempt the public away from unhealthy and expensive takeaways in favour of cheap and easy home cooking.

The chef, who grew up in Easterhouse, is keen to share his love of cooking and prove that you don't have to break the bank to make a healthy meal.

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He explains: "I wanted to create something that is relatable, something that you can actually watch from start to finish and that gives you a bit of energy. I wanted it to be quite Scottish as well. "The whole point is trying to make something that people can see themselves in, cooking food that you can easily cook at home and sending out a really positive message as well - that anyone can do it.

"We're challenging people who would normally buy a takeaway that aren't the best for you and might be expensive. We're trying to show them how to do a variation of it that's inexpensive, easy to cook and that everyone will be able to find the ingredients for.

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"A lot of people just aren't cooking anymore and it's to get that vibe going. We're trying to break the barriers and show that you don't have to be a chef to learn to cook for yourself."

The first episode sees Danny stopping off in Dundee, a place he admittedly hasn't spent much time but where the people are 'really sound'. To get the public on side, he makes an Asian fusion noodle dish and one of his signature vegan burgers. "It was a brilliant buzz up there", he says. "I've never really spent much time in Dundee but they were fantastic and it's a good sense of community up there.

We had a good mix of people on the show and they were really sound.

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"The show is about simplifying things, not making it the pure high-end food that you don't know whether you could cook or would find intimidating. It's really basic, fast, fresh food that's inexpensive and that you can enjoy with your friends or people round about you." With the country on lockdown, there's never been a better time to try and instill some knowledge about the benefits of home cooking.

As the weeks have gone on, more and more people are opting for a 'fakeaway' than a takeaway, which Danny thinks is a great place for beginners to start. He explains: "People are stuck in the house, maybe money is an issue and now it's the time to start to learn how to make your money go further in the your household and become more independent when it comes to cooking.

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"The easiest thing to do is try and replicate your takeaways and have fun. We've been doing that with customers and asking them to send us pictures."

The BBC show isn't the first taste of television stardom for Danny, who's also been featured on Vice and Channel 4. His down-to-earth attitude makes him the ideal host for a show that's trying to speak to the sometimes unforgiving Scottish public. "I love being on tv", he says. "I've been trying to get my own show for near enough ten years now.

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"I've had opportunities with Vice, Channel 4, BBC and MTV but it just seemed to be wee hits or a pilot so this opportunity has been brilliant.

"To not be a side attraction but to be in centre stage has been one of the best experiences of my life." Not only is The Mad Chef a television star and a local legend, he's the part-owner of Durty Vegan Burger Club in Finnieston. The restaurant on Argyle Street is back up and running after being put on hold amid the coronavirus lockdown.

Luckily for fans, Danny and his business partner have been working behind the scenes to 'future proof' the restaurant and are now reopen for takeaway. "It was quite touch and go there, we had to put it on pause and sit and watch what was going on for a couple of weeks because we're a young business with a limited cash flow", he explains.

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"We managed to make a decision to get opened back up for takeaway only. We had to redevelop our whole system and get rid of the Just Eat and Deliveroo because of the commissions.

"Everybody is really getting held against the wall with this kind of stuff. We've future-proofed, we've been building our own app which we're really excited about. "The digital revolution is here and if you're not in it, you're going to fall behind."

The Scran Van will be on BBC Scotland at 11pm on Tuesday May 19 and then on iPlayer.

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