A TV star who reached the final of BBC’s Celebrity MasterChef has agreed to be head chef at a free festive dinner for lonely people in Greenock.
Hardeep Singh Kohli, a comedian, cook and TV presenter, who recently starred in the latest series of Celebrity Big Brother, has agreed to help out at the festive feast in Gibshill Community Centre. It is being organised for the second year in a row by young mum Taylor Barnes and Hardeep says he is delighted to lend a hand.
Hardeep said: “I can’t think of a better way to spend Christmas to be honest. We are all human beings and we are meant to care for each other. I have helped out at quite a lot of Christmas day dinners for homeless people when I lived in London and also in Glasgow.
“I think everyone would agree that the western capitalism way of Christmas is so far removed from the genuine Christian ideals about Christmas. “
“It’s all about materialism. And actually if Jesus was around now he would probably be with us in Greenock.”
Hardeep says he is impressed with Taylor’s efforts to bring lonely people together at what can be a difficult time of year.
He said: “When I read Taylor’s message I thought it was a lovely. She has had so many challenges in her own life but her primary concern is looking after others.
“I couldn’t be more excited and I will do whatever needs done, whether that’s sweeping the floor or making the tea.”
Hardeep says he is happy to put on his apron and get stuck in as the free Christmas dinner represents everything he believes in.
He said: “I did Celebrity Big Brother to connect with people like Taylor, to make sense of the nonsense that is celebrity. If me being involved can get more income and more money to help set it up for next year – that is the point of it.
“I’m nearly 50 so I have worked hard and I’m very lucky and have great family around me – I will be okay, but I can’t be okay when I know there are folk just down the road that are not.”
Last year Taylor, who is mum to two-year-old Harper and is expecting her second child in March, organised a free dinner as she was going to be spending the day alone with her daughter and overheard another lady talking about how lonely she would be on Christmas Day.
The event, which was held at the 134 Steak House in Cathcart Street, was a huge success and inspired Taylor to organise another dinner this year.
Taylor said she is so grateful that Hardeep is supporting the event.
She said: “I can’t believe it as he’s doing it all for nothing, he just wants to be there to help – it’s amazing.
“I’m a big fan of Big Brother and when he was on the show I saw him getting into debates about foodbanks and what can be done to help people.
“Then I saw him cooking and I said to my mum ‘maybe I could get Hardeep to be the head chef for the Christmas dinner’. I couldn’t believe it when he contacted me to say he’ll do it. It’s brilliant.”
Any local businesses or volunteers who can assist Taylor or anyone who would like to attend the Christmas dinner is asked to phone her on 07568 384053 or contact her via Facebook.
Article: Greenock Telegraph