Nigel Barden

Nigel provides a culinary flavour to Simon Mayo Drivetime, every Thursday, 5-7pm

"I have the best job in the world and it's great working on a show whose host really loves his grub," says Nigel.

It's great working on a show whose host really loves his grub
Nigel Barden

"It's also special to feel part of a family with Sally and Rebecca, along with our backroom posse, who ensure my recipes get on the show's website."

"It can be stressful bringing dishes into the studio, so they're warm and presentable, without cutting things too fine; which is what I naturally do! I cook in a restaurant kitchen handy for Western House, London, our base camp and carry in the dishes or put them on the back of my bicycle, in time for a quick culinary photo call before endeavouring to tantalise our leader.

"I grew up on a farm in Lancashire, worked as a tree surgeon in the Lake District and then a land agent in Otley, before embarking on a career as a Yorkshire based wine merchant, supplying hotels, restaurants and pubs throughout Britain. At 29 I legged it south to train as an actor and while at drama school started reviewing restaurants for BBC GLR, where I met one Christopher Evans.

"I present features for BBC TV's Inside Out, for which I lived out of dustbins as a 'Freegan'. I continue to judge and host food and drink events, such as The World's 50 Best Restaurants, The Great Taste Awards and The International Wine Challenge. I'm also on air with Robert Elms on his BBC London show and donning another hat, I'm one of the station's rugby commentators, having played a lot of it.

"For a food journalist I'm rather scrawny, but do eat a lot, have a fortunate metabolism - and possibly a tapeworm!

"I met my 'Sicilian Temptress' wife Deborah Dolce in Lapland and we now have three suitably confused Lancastrian/Italian boys of 10 and under. Life's busy, but fun."