TV: Grime artist Big Zuu turns chef with made-to-order dishes for an array of comedians

Big Zuu is headed back out on tour - but not as we know it. The London-based grime artist - real name Zuhair Hassan - is hitting the road for a whole new reason: he's landed his very own Dave series in Big Zuu's Big Eats, a cooking show with a twist that will see the 24-year-old MC prepare made-to-order dishes for an array of UK comedians. Self-taught (his only professional experience was six months working the grill at Nando's), the keen chef - joined on his trusty food truck by old school mates Tubsey and Hyder - will host everyone from Jimmy Carr to Rosie Jones to Josh Widdicombe to London Hughes and more.

But will he pull off the perfect post-gig rider for the biggest names in British comedy? We find out how he got on. YOU'RE KNOWN FOR BEING A GRIME MC, LESS SO FOR YOUR LINKS TO COOKING AND COMEDY.

HOW DID THIS SHOW COME ABOUT? I've always been the fat kid growing up who loved music and food. So when I got into the music game and started building a following for my tracks, I'd always put funny videos of myself cooking on my socials.

It just became a thing I was known for. I then did some cooking segments for radio shows and blogs in the grime world and it became my thing. Eventually the guys at UKTV hit me up and together we came up with this idea to cook food for comedians!

SO HOW WAS IT SPENDING SO MUCH WITH THE UK'S BEST-LOVE COMICS? It was an amazing experience. There's quite a lot of similarities between comedians and music artists.

We both spend a lot of our time on the road touring, so we had a lot in common in that sense. Every comedian I met during this process had their own unique style of how they worked, which was great because it always made each episode different and fresh. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE EPISODE?

When I did the episode with Rosie Jones, I didn't know what to expect, but she was just out of this world. She made me laugh the most, out of the all the comedians, and she appreciated the food that I made her. I cooked her food that reminded her of her home, that reminded her of her nanna from Spain, of where she comes from.

She told me she wished I could come to every one of her shows! HOW MUCH OF A CHALLENGE WAS IT TO COME UP WITH EACH MENU? We asked the comedians, 'What kind of food do you like?', and then we went away and created menus that represented each of them - but that also had a little sprinkle of me in there.

For Ed Gamble, he told us he loved cheese, so we made him these steak cheese sliders. Desiree Burch, she's from America but she loves Mexican food, so we were able to combine the two. Just seeing the happiness they got from eating the food was worth all the pain.

WHO WOULD YOUR DREAM GUEST(S) BE? I would love to cook for Liverpool Football Club. I support Liverpool and I would love to be their nutritional chef after a match.

Like, 'OK guys, here's your post-match meal, cooked by me Big Zuu, made in the food truck'. It would be jokes. You'd have people like Mo Salah thinking, 'Who the hell is this guy?' But I'd get to meet my favourite players in the world.

I could just stir this towards meeting my favourite people like a checklist. WHY NOT. AND YOU GET TO ENJOY THE WHOLE PROCESS WITH YOUR TWO BEST MATES, TUBSEY AND HYDER?

It's a dream come true. There's no other way to put it. The way we've approached this series is by acting like we're just hanging out as normal.

That's why the show comes across as genuine. Before the lockdown, we would spend most days together in London so it's been a really easy process. I can't remember a time where I haven't known Tubsey and Hyder so to now have a TV series with them is unreal.

WHAT SETS BIG ZUU'S BIG EATS APART FROM OTHER COOKING SHOWS? It's the show for people who don't live near a Waitrose or who can't afford to go to one. I'm a massive fan of all cooking programmes but this show stands out as we're sourcing the food from local shops rather than big chains.

I'm hoping it proves to people, especially in my generation, that cooking can be a fun and affordable experience. A lot of people I know can't be bothered to cook and think it costs too much so they'd rather just get fast food. Hopefully, this can change that.

I also don't think there are many shows where there is a grime MC with his two best mates, cooking for world-famous comedians in a food truck! YOU'VE GOT SOME NEW MUSIC OUT TOO. HAS THIS TIME IN LOCKDOWN INSPIRED MORE MATERIAL?

Yeah, I'm lucky enough to have a studio in my house, so I've been recording demos of ideas at home. [Single] P2P is with Jelani Blackman and I've got a project out with Capo Lee, Kamakaze and Eyez [a joint mixtape called Royal Rumble]. So yeah, there's a lot of music coming, a TV programme coming, so we're not stopping man. We're trying to stay optimistic.

Big Zuu's Big Eats, Dave, Friday, 10pm.

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