Lisa Faulkner gushes over husband John Torode as they open up on first eight months of marriage

Couples who cook together, stay together and Lisa Faulkner and John Torode are certainly proof of that. The husband and wife duo are about to launch the fourth series of their ITV show, John & Lisa’s Weekend Kitchen, and have already had a fifth commissioned. “We work very well together,” Lisa tells OK!. “We’re lucky.”

John, 54, and Lisa, 48, tied the knot last year in a stunning ceremony at Aynhoe Park in Oxfordshire. And though lockdown means their first year of marriage hasn’t been quite what they expected, it’s allowed them some quality time together as newlyweds.

“You appreciate the time you have together. I think we’ll look back at this time quite fondly,” says MasterChef judge John.

Here, the culinary couple spill the beans on working and living together, homeschooling, and the testing times of lockdown…

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How does it feel to have spent much of your first year in marriage in lockdown?

John: We got married in October, eight months ago, so we’ve had nearly half the time in lockdown! But it’s been alright. I think we’re doing really well. I quite like it. I don’t think we’ll ever get an opportunity like this again in our lifetimes where you just have to stop. It gives you time to think about things and you appreciate the time together. I think we’ll look back at this time quite fondly, but of course it’s also been very sad with people losing family members.

Lisa: I feel very lucky. I love my husband so much and we have a lovely family. I miss the family that we don’t live with hugely, but it’s been really nice. We’ve really looked after each other. What’s going on is affecting so many people and our NHS has worked tirelessly, but I’ve actually felt really grateful that we’re all looking after each other.

You’re filming the fourth series of John And Lisa’s Weekend Kitchen. Do you ever have disagreements when working together?

Lisa: Not really, we just cook! We work very well together. I feel very blessed because we get on really well.

Have you had any testing moments during lockdown?

Lisa: I think everybody has testing moments. Living together, getting used to homeschooling and everyone needing space, plus the emotions, has been hard. We’re lucky – we live near a park so we can go out, walk the dogs separately and we have a garden and the kids have their own rooms. We can each go off to our little spaces, read or go for a walk or a bike ride or do a home workout, and then we come back together.

John: I think it’s been about listening to each other, compromise, knowing each other and giving each other space when it’s needed. Sometimes you’ve just got to read the body language. But we’re lucky.

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How has filming the show changed due to social distancing?

John: It’s a new world and social distancing has made things quite different, but it’s been fantastic so far. It’s been nice to be back with the team. Social distancing has made things more difficult in terms of shooting because usually there are lots of people in close proximity and you have people coming over your shoulder to get the right shots, but now we can’t do that.
I think one of the reasons ITV has allowed us to film is the fact that we do live together and therefore the social distancing thing is different. It’s the same with Ruth [Langsford] and Eamonn [Holmes] on This Morning. We just need to keep reminding people that we do live together and we are married so we can get close!

Lisa: Now we’re also having to do all these other jobs. I’ve been doing my make-up and then I make sure John looks alright.

John: Then there’s making sure we’re dressed properly and that our outfits look okay, because all those things make a difference. We look out for each other. It takes a lot longer than usual.

Lisa: I’m definitely no make-up artist! We’re doing the minimum amount and getting by. It makes you appreciate everybody. Everyone is a member of the crew for a reason.

What can viewers expect to see in the new series?

John: What we try to do as much as possible this series is make people feel as though they’re on vacation, and bring back memories of travelling. We’re using influences from around the world so there are things like Greek feasts and the flavours
of Spain and the seaside. It’s summertime food that can be enjoyed at home in an easy way. The show has got stronger with better viewing figures and I think people really like it. John & Lisa’s Weekend Kitchen has always been about what is practical and what’s in your cupboard, and at times like this that’s even more important.

Have you been splitting the cooking equally at home?

Lisa: We pretty much do it together. There are times when I’ve been homeschooling and John has done it or John is out on a bike ride so I’ve taken over.

John: It’s never really a conversation, it just seems to happen. We’re both cooking all the time, almost all day. On the show, we have four recipes each episode, so there have been a lot of recipes to create and we worked really hard with the production team to make sure we get them absolutely right and that they are accessible.

Lisa: We’ve been doing our own recipe videos on Instagram (IGTV).

Lisa, do you involve your 14-year-old daughter Billie in the cooking and test new recipes on her?

She has a full day of school so she’s on the computer in the front room from 8.45am. She gets things posted to her, like pancakes and little bribes to keep her going! But she is so not bothered by food or us. She’s like, “Can you make me a Pot Noodle instead?”

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How has homeschooling been?

Lisa: I look forward to September! Billie is in secondary school so she won’t go back until then. Our teachers are incredible. But I have really loved having her at home, more than she has loved being at home! But that’s an age thing, whereas I don’t take anything for granted. I think she’s found it really difficult. Luckily I don’t have to do too much because it’s all online.

Have you been able to spend any time with your children, John?

I’ve been for a socially distanced walk with my children. But we’ve been very careful and we’ve done plenty of FaceTiming. I was meant to go to Australia a few weeks ago for work but obviously that couldn’t happen. I haven’t been able to see my family out there, which is really sad.

John, your tea towel caught fire live on This Morning! What happened?

It was a great message to pay attention to what you’re doing! I didn’t even realise the tea towel was there. But I had to stay calm. Phillip [Schofield] and Holly [Willoughby] were rightly panicking because there was a two-second on-air delay. Two seconds doesn’t seem like a long time but in fire terms it’s a lot. But I stayed calm and everything was okay. There was a lot going on – I was cooking and chatting to Phillip and Holly on a screen in front of me and I had an ear piece and a close-up camera. I was also juggling the technical side of things by myself because obviously we can’t have a technician in the house.

Have there been any kitchen disasters at home?

John: Not really, apart from an explosion of sauce the other day!

Lisa: Touch wood, there have been no other explosions or fires so far.

John & Lisa’s Weekend Kitchen is on Saturdays at 11.35am on ITV

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